April 26, 2010
The concept of teams and teamwork is not difficult to understand. By definition, a team is simply a group of people put together to achieve some common purpose or goal. However, while the concept seems simple enough, being an effective team involves much more thought and work. The text, Developing Management Skills, written by David A. Whetten and Kim S. Cameron, supplies a more specific definition of a team. It is a group of people who are interdependent in their tasks, affect one another’s behavior through their interactions, and see themselves as a unique entity. This definition implies that an effective team must be mindful of the interdependence that exists and the fact that interactions can affect the attitudes and behaviors of others. As such, being an effective team requires positive cooperation and communication among the team members in order to achieve success. By examining different ways that teams work and different examples of how companies achieve success, one begins to see that there are multiple paths to success. Google Incorporated and Apple Incorporated are both leading companies in their industries. Apple is known for its extraordinarily innovative and exclusive products. They have an incredibly loyal customer base, and competitors have a very hard time replicating their products. Their brand name is synonymous with success. Google is also a leader, one of the world’s top companies, continually making headlines for their innovation and customer focus. Google is also renowned as one of the best places to work for. How do these two companies achieve their success? Both companies have an extremely strong backbone of innovation and technology, but how do their product development teams continually produce such great results? As these companies are examined, one will find that there are many similarities between them, but there are also many differences. In their development and production efforts, both companies make extensive use of teams and have their own distinct cultures and ideas. The following research will evaluate the product development teams of Google and Apple in an effort to determine which of the teams is most effective. It will be examined how both companies build and promote effective teams, continually build relationships within by communicating supportively, motivate others within their team and company, and manage conflict and stress when they arise in a team setting. Once examining both companies thoroughly, research will conclude Google Incorporated to be the company with the most effective team environment. While both companies have achieved success in equal measure, Google’s company environment fosters teams and teambuilding much more than the hierarchy at Apple.
Google headquarters may look like the cross between a college campus and a playground, but that does not mean that productive work is being sacrificed. At the “GooglePlex,” Google prides on its creative office design and outlet for innovation. As a matter of fact, their formula happens to be: Smart people, plus a creative environment, plus an outlet for ideas, equals innovation. They believe and promote teamwork and creative innovation in every aspect of their business. Their unique language and culture lend it to being one of the most sought after companies to work for in the entire world.
Building a successful product development team starts with the very basics: Hiring the right people. According to Google Product Manager, Marissa Mayer, Google hires “smart people,” but that does not necessarily translate to the highest grade point average. They do have employees with their PhDs’ from prestigious universities, but they also hire a “range of people with broad experience and non-traditional talents such as an expert in Italian travel.” At the end of the day, Google is simply looking for team members who are creative and enthusiastic. They are not above hiring...