organizational dynamics of Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, Singapore with a reference to the relevant theories. The strengths and weakness are highlighted and then recommendations made on how to improve the daily running of the franchise.
Overview of the company
Organizational culture at Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf
Overview of the company
Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf Singapore is part of a larger organization (a franchise) that deals in coffee and tea as their specialty. The company is headquartered in Los Angeles California and is owned as well as operated by International Coffee & Tea, LLC (Hoovers,2011).
In Singapore, the company it operates under the business name Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf (S) Pte. Ltd. It operates both tea and coffee stores in the country (Singapore). In its stores it offers coffee bean brews, lunch, breakfast, tea as well as cakes. The company is also involved in the provision of merchandise such as brew items, coffee and tea mugs, CDs, party packs and gourmet powder. Most of its products are offered online (Businessweek,2011). The company was founded sometime in 1963 and in Singapore, it operates as a subsidiary of the International Coffee & Tea, LLC. The company offers free Wi-Fi access in most of its locations (Coffee Bean,2011).
It is worth noting that its is the efforts of the Singapore entrepreneur, Mr. Victor Sasson as well as his family (mainly his Sunny, his brother and Michelle, his wife as well as Mel, his brother-in-law) that catapulted the company into the global arena. Mr. Sassoon in 1996 bought the company's franchise rights for the Asian region and in just two years, managed to open about 29 outlets in Malaysia and Singapore. Currently, the company has grown to be one of the largest and most successful privately owned company that deal in coffee and tea. Tea and Coffee Asia (2009) pointed out that traditionally, the region has preferred tea as a beverage since time immemorial. The Asian market has been hugely affected by the increasing popularity of the specialty coffee as well as other espresso-based beverages. Datamonitor indicated that the consumption of coffee in the Asian region is bound to increase to 31.59%.
The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf Singapore was established more than ten years ago. Currently, it operates forty-five outlets throughout the entire island. It also plans to open more outlets so as to continue dominating the specialty coffee as well as tea industry. The company has therefore over the years engaged the services of an enthusiastic team that is adequately trained in order to provide to their customers what they refer to as a "Total Quality Experience." The organizational structure at Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf, Singapore is top down in its operation and authority. The organization is headed by CEO, Mr. Sassoon and then there are various outlet managers as well as operations and logistics managers. The workers are at the bottom of the hierarchy.
It is worth noting that one of the most difficult tasks of any given business is the organization of individuals so that they may perform their work efficiently. As Coffee Bean and Teal Leaf franchise become more successful and experienced growth, more work was generated for the employees. More people therefore have to be engaged in an organized manner. Individuals have to be organized in order to specialize in their duties. The need of realizing a common objective has meant that the company must employ an effective organizational structure.It is worth noting that Coffee Bean & tea Leaf Singapore is privately held and family run. This does not mean that all its operations are executed by the family. The company has engaged the service of various professionals so that it can realize its objectives. As Sexton (1970) put it; there must be some form of a plan that indicates how the work in a given organization is organized. This plan which depicts the systematic arrangement of the work to be performed is called the organization structure and is comprised of relationships, functions, authorities, responsibilities as well as the communication of persons within each and every department (p.23).
A look at the organization structure at Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf reveals that it is centralized in nature. The centralized organizational structure has several management layers that are involved in controlling the company through maintenance of a high level of organizational authority. This is the power to make decisions. The centralized organization structure is marked by the line-and-staff employees having very limited authority in doing anything without obtaining prior approval. This organizational structure has a focus on the top-down management style in which the executive at the very top communicate with the middle-managers who then pass the message to the first-level managers. The first level managers then pass the message to the general staff. This organizational structure is fairly bureaucratic and therefore the employees have very little freedom.
Several authors have discussed the importance of organizational structure as well as its relationship with the size, technology, strategy, environment as well as organizational culture. Mintzberg (1989) for instance wrote on the significance that it has organizational structure and strategy.The work of Burns and Stalker (1961) indicated that for an organization to achieve the best performance then its structure must match and fit the dynamism of its environment. Handy (1993) discussed the importance of organizational design and structure in relation to organizational culture.
Organizational culture at Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf
According to Crane and Matten (2004), organizational culture is a representation of the overall climate or environment that exists within a given organization (p.136). According to Mullins (2005,p.891), organizational culture means "…how things are done around here."
Organizational culture is important for organizations such as Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf because it helps in the management of organization-wide change. The organizational culture at the company is geared towards providing the customer with a Total Quality Experience. The employees are provided with a unique opportunity of touching the lives of several (thousands) individuals in the community every single day. The Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf store are noted by the Coffee Bean (2011) to be the very first and the very last impression that the clients have of their business establishments. The company is also committed to continual learning as well as development of their workforce. The company offers competitive wages as well as comprehensive benefit packages. The employees work together in order to be "Simply The Best" in regard to specialty tea and coffee.
As part of its culture and strategy, the company has been able to maintain a number of traditions as their secrets of success. One of such strategy and culture is the existence of Team Members who provide their clients with Total Quality Experience that is inspired from their Core Values. Their Core Values are represented as F.R.O.T.H for Friendly, Respect, Ownership, Teamwork and Honesty. When the Coffee Bean stores are opened, they are not only opened to the customers only but to the Team Members as well.
Employee motivation has been noted to have a correlation with organizational performance (Perry and Mesch,2006). The company motivates its employees intrinsically and extrinsically through good remuneration, training as well as recognition programs. In an effort of ensuring that the employees are well motivated, the company has set up a regional office in Singapore for the provision of training as well as recruitment support for the entire region.
Al of the Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf stores are located in regions that experience high traffic and are highly visible. The company engages in master franchising.
From its inception, the company has excelled by the application of transformational leadership.
According to Daft (2007) organizations are considered to be social entities that are working towards achieving specific set goals and objectives. He posits that they have deliberately designed structures and systems of activities that provide them with links to the external environment. The most important element of an organization is not either the goals or the objectives to be met but is the personnel and the relationship that exists between them. The existence of an organization is guaranteed if and only if the interaction and the relationship that exists between the personnel is cohesive, complements each other and are geared towards the achievement of the goals and objectives ( Daft,2007).
The structure of an organization refers to how the different departments and units within the organization are linked to one another. According to Sims (2002), the structure of an organization is the reflection of the ways channels through which persons in the different departments and units interact with one another while doing their respective jobs. It also refers to the way the different jobs and responsibilities are shared and coordinated between and amongst the personnel.
Some of the processes according to Sims (2002), that re institutionalized within the structures of an organization include; the interaction between the personnel; communications channels that are…