Google Culture and Success

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  • Topic: Management, Leadership, Sergey Brin
  • Pages : 5 (1863 words )
  • Download(s) : 720
  • Published : April 21, 2009
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1.Analyze the organizational culture at Google and how it contributed to its success

In his book Organizational Culture and Leadership, Schein defines the culture as: “The climate and practices that organizations develop around their handling of people, or to the espoused values and credo of an organization”. We can analyze Google’s organizational culture thought Ouchi’s framework. Ouchi studied three different company’s culture and saw that the differences between those explained a part of the company’s success. Depending on his theory it seems that Google Inc. is the type Z US firms.

Cultural characteristicsType J (Japonese model)Type A (typical American modelType Z (credited American model) Commitment to employeesLife contractShort term contractLong term contract EvaluationSlow and qualitativeFast and quantitativeSlow and qualitative CareersLarge and not based on specialtyVery narrowed and specialty basedModerately based on specialty ControlImplicit and informalExplicit and formalImplicit and informal Decision makingGrouped and consensualIndividualGrouped and consensual ResponsibilityCollectiveIndividualIndividual

Concern for peopleHolistic (firm and family)Narrowed (individual tasks)Global (individual at work)

Google tries to retain its employees and evaluate them in a quantitative but also qualitative manner. In fact, the company made its work environment colorful and vehicles the image of a fun place to work through what it proposes. For example, employees can have free snacks or bring their pet at the office or go to the gym etc... Employees can benefit from flexible working hours and have some time for their self-directed projects which shows the importance of the creativity and innovation from each and in every department. Moreover control is done through informal and implicit mechanism. We saw in the case study that the communication is open across the organization. There aren’t any managerial hierarchies or management structure, which gives the employees complete freedom. Even thought employees can make their own decision if something is wrong on a product to rectify it decisions are usually occurring in groups and based on the principles of full information sharing. Plus, the concern for people goes beyond the individual at work and extends to the individual’s interests, hobbies, beliefs etc.. We can see that especially during lunch at the cafeteria. Nevertheless Google emphasis the team work goals over the personal ones. Ouchi argues that the culture of the Type Z firms helps those to outperform typical American firms. The main reason it that firms like Google systematically invests in their people and operations over the long run and so obtain steady and significant improvements in the long-term performance!

We can also analyse the organizational culture and define it as an organic structure. This type of structure is characterized by flexibility, empowerment and teamwork. It emphases on the fact that workers are emotional beings. This structure defines well Google’s organization as it is non-hierarchical and cross-functional: there aren’t any barriers between the different departments. People are encouraged to get involved in other activities then their own. Also the top management leaves their office door open in order for workers to feel free to come and talk directly. Moreover we can note the employees’ empowerment and the decentralization of power. Googlers are rewarded for their hard work in an extremely relaxed environment that encourages creativity through social events such as roller hockey. This permits one to meet everyone and stay as a team.

Google adopted an a structure that came seem confusing to some in matters of control or decision making but it is working very well. It permitted them to meet success and not to have an employee turnover when everybody did. Today more and more companies are adopting this kind of organizational structure, especially in...
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