Goodwill Industries International Firm’s Competitive Differentiation Advantages


It is known that the contemporary realities make companies constantly evolve to continue showing maximal efficiency and facilitate the achievement of their goals. Goodwill Industries International is a pioneer of social enterprise that is intended to build a culture of respect by establishing and implementing diversity programs (Case in point: doing good as a core business strategy, n.d).

This essay will examine the nuances of Goodwill’s POLC framework implications compared to Starbucks, reveal the company’s competitive advantages, and discuss the potential problems that might be associated with diverse populations hiring and training. I will also describe if I have ever had difficulties with discrimination in a school setting and provide my opinion regarding the position of Goodwill toward the necessity to innovate constantly.

The Implications of the POLC Framework

The POLC framework, also referred to as “Four functions of management,” is vital to understand the role of a company’s managers and, therefore, the way it operates to achieve organizational goals. Comparing two companies, Goodwill and Starbucks, within the provisions of the model, it is possible to outline the key difference in POLC implications. With respect to planning, Goodwill company’s performance, as a non-profitable company, is to achieve social satisfaction by providing employment to those who are struggling with it, while Starbucks’s goal is to increase profit (Pratap, 2020; Fertig & Joseph, 2021). With respect to organizing, Starbucks sticks to one style of operating, while Goodwill utilizes different ones by definition, as their employees have a distinct background.

With respect to leading, Starbucks’ system of motivation is based on financial stimulus. Simultaneously, Goodwill’s one is focused on providing satisfaction and assisting in personal goals achieving (Garthwaite et al., 2017; Fertig & Joseph, 2021). With respect to controlling, Starbuck, as an organization focused on profit, has a stricter attitude than a non-profitable company that utilizes different approaches to individuals (Pratap, 2020; Fertig & Joseph, 2021). Therefore, the difference between companies based on the POLC framework is significant.

Goodwill’s Competitive Advantages

It is possible to outline Goodwill’s competitive advantages that enable the company to stand out from other competitors that provide similar services and achieve maximal efficiency in hiring and training employees. A set of qualities and values that assist Goodwill to set apart from similar businesses mostly belong to one specific type of advantages, referred to as differentiation ones. It is so because the company is non-profitable, and therefore, cannot provide any cost advantages. There are no services larger competitors cannot possibly provide that deprive Goodwill of any focus advantages (Mandelbaum, 2019; Distanont & Khongmalai). Therefore, there is a need for differentiation competitive advantages consideration, as others do not correlate with the specificity of the company.

The ability to innovate is the most significant ability the company has. It is a competitive differentiation advantage, as Goodwill is focused on the constant improvement of existing approaches in changing environments. It is known that “Goodwill has developed training programs to ensure that individuals are fully equipped to be productive members of the workforce,” which shows the potential of the company to prepare professionals (Case in point: doing good as a core business strategy, n.d, para. 4). It is not the feature that none of the competitors has, but definitely, the one Goodwill is the most advanced company in.

The other advantage is the specific culture, built on principles of equity, which is especially important for the comfort of employees with wide-ranging backgrounds (Case in point: doing good as a core business strategy, n.d). Therefore, the culture of respect and reputation the company has, is the benefit of the company compared to its competitors. Finally, Goodwill has an ability to adapt, which is as significant as the ability to innovate, considering the necessity to manage different situations with unique customers and employees (Case in point: doing good as a core business strategy, n.d).

Although the company considers diversity a benefit, it is its differentiation advantage to successfully operate within a changing environment with individuals with distinct values and beliefs, which should be respected. Therefore, the company’s competitive advantages are differentiation ones, and they are the ability to innovate and adapt and the established culture of respect and solid reputation.

Potential Problems from Hiring and Training the Diverse Populations

Despite Goodwill’s success in social services, there are problems that might arise from hiring and training individuals with diverse backgrounds. The issue is associated mostly with individuals with criminal history and disabilities because such employees require the most effort and great attention to make them attractive to potential employers (McCann et al., 2017).

Communication issues complicated with discrimination are significant problems, as they are likely to deteriorate the process of training and make it impossible to successfully prepare an individual for a future job (Ayega & Muathe, 2018). The outlined difficulties that might potentially result from hiring and training the diverse populations require professionals with specific skills and abilities who passed training and can be effective in any potential problem resolving.

My Experience with Discrimination in a School Setting

Discrimination is an issue many people are familiar with, as it is the well-known feature of individuals, especially younger ones, to behave inappropriately toward persons who are not like others. Although I have witnessed many times others being discriminated I have never been involved in such situations. Therefore, I can say that I do not have much experience with discrimination in any setting, including school one.

Why Goodwill Believes that it is Necessary to Continually Innovate

After reading the case content, I discovered that Goodwill is a company that is focused on continuous progression, innovation, evolution, and adaptation. I think that the policy of Goodwill is intended to support the constant innovation to comply with changing requirements to employees. My point of view is supported with evidence that “Part of Goodwill’s success over the years can be attributed to its ability to innovate” (Case in point: doing good as a core business strategy, n.d, para. 4). It directly indicates that such a feature has played a vital role in the company’s operation.


Examination of Goodwill’s case based on the POLC framework revealed that this non-profitable company is significantly different from Starbucks, which is focused on revenue obtaining, as approaches utilized and goals set are different. Goodwill has only competitive differentiation advantages, which are are abilities to innovate, adapt, and build a culture of respect and reputation, but they make the company successful. There are potential problems the company might have because of the diverse populations it works with, such as communication difficulties and discrimination. It was explained that Goodwill’s success is attributed to the constant innovation process, which is why the company believes that it is necessary to evolve. Finally, I do not have any negative experience with discrimination, which is a positive point.


Ayega, E. N., & Muathe, S. (2018). Critical review of literature on cultural diversity in the work place and organizational performance: a research agenda. Journal of Human Resource Management, 6(1), 9-17. Web.

Case in point: doing good as a core business strategy. (n.d.). Web.

Distanont, A., & Khongmalai, O. (2020). The role of innovation in creating a competitive advantage. Kasetsart Journal of Social Sciences, 41(1), 15-21. Web.

Fertig, J., & Joseph, M. A Principled Discussion: Is the POLC Framework Still Relevant?. Academy of Management Proceedings 2021(1), 13806. Web.

Garthwaite, C., Busse, M., Brown, J., & Merkley, G. (2017). Starbucks: A story of growth. Kellogg School of Management Cases. Web.

Mandelbaum, A. (2019). Defining your competitive advantage – find your business edge. Notesmatic. Web.

McCann, J. T., Sparks, B. H., & Kohntopp, T. F. (2017). Leadership integrity and diversity in the workplace. Leadership, 2(5), 177-191. Web.

Pratap, A. (2020). Four functions of management: the POLC framework. Notesmatic. Web.

Cite this paper

Select style


BusinessEssay. (2022, December 15). Goodwill Industries International Firm's Competitive Differentiation Advantages. Retrieved from


BusinessEssay. (2022, December 15). Goodwill Industries International Firm's Competitive Differentiation Advantages.

Work Cited

"Goodwill Industries International Firm's Competitive Differentiation Advantages." BusinessEssay, 15 Dec. 2022,


BusinessEssay. (2022) 'Goodwill Industries International Firm's Competitive Differentiation Advantages'. 15 December.


BusinessEssay. 2022. "Goodwill Industries International Firm's Competitive Differentiation Advantages." December 15, 2022.

1. BusinessEssay. "Goodwill Industries International Firm's Competitive Differentiation Advantages." December 15, 2022.


BusinessEssay. "Goodwill Industries International Firm's Competitive Differentiation Advantages." December 15, 2022.