One of the factors of the success of the Coca-Cola Company is the integration of the employees into its organizational culture. The company managed to make the employees associate themselves with the company, or as stated in their own words, “become one of the secret ingredients that make… the company so refreshing” (Nelson & Quick, 2009, p. 504). Thus, answering the question: what is the company’s main factor contributing to its strength in the market, and which distinguishes it from the others, the answer might probably be in the formidable asset Coca Cola built worldwide, which is the strong commitment of their management and employees (The Coca-Cola Company, 2009c).
The Coca-Cola Company is the world’s largest nonalcoholic beverage company. With headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia, the company operates in over 200 countries, employs 92,400 associates and owns 4 of the world’s top 5 nonalcoholic sparkling beverage brands (The Coca-Cola Company, 2009c). Spanning more than 120 years of history, the company is still showing constant growth, where as of 2008 the operating revenues grew 11% to $31.9 billion and operating income grew 16% to $8.4 billion. The company began in 1886 as a pharmaceutical idea drawn by the curiosity of John Pemberton, named by Frank Robinson and bought by Asa Griggs Candler, who became the first president of the company (The Coca-Cola Company, 2009a). Currently, the company is led by Muhtar Kent, the Chairman of the Board, and the Chief Executive Officer of Coca-Cola Company.
Being a company originated from the United States, 86% of the company’s market is served outside of the US. The geographical expansion of the company began from Atlanta, after which syrup plants where built in Chicago, Dallas and Los Angeles. At the beginning of the last century the company started moving into Canada, Panama, Cuba, Puerto Rico, France and other countries, where by 1920 the company had approximately 1,000 bottlers worldwide (The Coca-Cola Company, 2009a).
The company acknowledged that motivating the employees to success is reflected in the own success of the company, where giving the ability for the employees to learn and grow gives the company a competitive advantage (Nelson & Quick, 2009, p. 504). Such advantage is similar to a long term investment, according to which the company is building its formidable assets. In that regard, the reason for the company to focus on their employees is the unification between the company and the employees in order to pursue a common goal. As stated by a top sales director in the company on the creative freedom given to the employees, it can seen that the unity is not a matter of employee and employer, but rather like a big company and small company all in one (Nelson & Quick, 2009).
Achieving such goals as changing the employees’ perception can be seen in using strategies of identification, in which the organizational and the interest of the member is united. Such strategies are not only marketing initiations, through referring to the employees as WE (Mohan, 1993), but also clear statements indicated in the vision of the company in creating “a great place to work where people are inspired to be the best they can be” (The Coca-Cola Company, 2009b). The emphasis also put the responsibility on the employees, where the slogan Act Like Owners, can be among the important factors facilitating the creation of a distinctive culture in the company, where each employee is perceived to be an essential element of a large mechanism.
Mohan, M. L. (1993). Organizational communication and cultural vision : approaches for analysis. Albany: State University of New York Press.
Nelson, D. L., & Quick, J. C. (2009). Organizational behavior : science, the real world, and you (6th ed.). Mason, OH, USA: South-Western Cengage Learning.
The Coca-Cola Company. (2009a). The Heritage Timeline. The Coca-Cola Company. Web.
The Coca-Cola Company. (2009b). Mission, Vision & Values. The Coca-Cola Company. Web.
The Coca-Cola Company. (2009c). Who We Are. The Coca-Cola Company. Web.