1. Context of the strategy implementation
Google is the leader relating to search services on the Internet around the world. In 2000, Google was already offering a Chinese language version of Google.com, but this was often unavailable or slow because of the application of the Chinese censorship. As a result, in order to achieve commercial success in China and beat the market leader Baidu.com, Google decided to host a website from within China: Google.cn. Therefore, Google decided to operate in China and comply with the censorship laws, in other words, removing search results for the Chinese users. This implied a number of criticism from the Chinese government saying that harmful information are not enough blocked, to activists emphasising the ethical issue of Google’s strategic action. However, we will discuss if this new strategy is aligned with the Google’s initial mission and culture; and furthermore, how Google’s internal and external environments are connected to its strategies implementation.
2. Strategy and mission consistency
By definition, the mission statement of a company explains the values and purposes of the company. The mission statement is directed towards the organisation’s key stakeholders with the aim of making explicit the objectives behind the company’s actions (Hitt, Ireland and Hoskisson, 2009: 16-17). Google’s mission statement is ‘to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful’. Google’s decision to set up Google.cn was consistent with its mission as it helped make information accessible to more people, in particular the Chinese who have previously not had completely access to Google because of the Chinese government. This appears, however, to contradict their commitment for useful information as it degraded user experience that amounts to no information. Although the company’s mission helped to drive the direction of Google’s strategies, it seems sometimes...