Working from Home – Yahoo! and Marissa Mayerv1

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Working From Home – Yahoo! and Marissa Mayer
Andres Cardona
Brian Shannon
Julie Girard
Keller Graduate School of Management
Leadership and Organizational Behavior
GM591
Chris Pilkington
4/16/2013

Introduction
Yahoo! was founded in 1994 by David Filo and Jerry Yang, two Stanford Ph.D candidates, as a way for them to keep track of their personal interest on the internet (Yahoo!, 2013). Yahoo! saw a lot of success in early years yet has recently been overshadowed by competition, such as Google and Bing. In an industry where innovation is key, Yahoo!, like others, is constantly looking for the next big thing. In the recent effort to improve its standings amongst its competitors, they brought on Marissa Mayer, a former Google executive. Mayer understood the challenge that this position would be accompanied with, and dove in head first. In recent weeks, the media has swarmed about her announcement to revoke telecommunication privileges from Yahoo! staff. This has an caused uproar in the industry causing Mayer’s decision, as well as her delivery to be under attack. Mayer sent out a memo to employees in late February 2013 announcing this decision—to revoke telecommunication privileges. The announcement was immediately leaked to the media causing competitors to offer positions to the Yahoo! staff. Yahoo! currently has a workforce of roughly 12,000, in 25 countries (Yahoo!, 2013). Problem Statement

Delivering the news has had a large impact on so many Yahoo!’s employees. We feel the delivery should have been handled with delicacy. Mayer’s, tactic of sending out a memo to reveal her plans left employees in shock. How could Myer’s have better managed the revoking of telecommuting at Yahoo!? Mayer’s decision to revoke telecommunications was a planned change. In situations where you can see the change coming, there is a great opportunity to plan it in a way that allows the transition to go smoothly. The text discusses the technical planning that goes into managing these changes, such as making sure the technology is in place and the job designs are updated for individual and groups; it also discusses the emotional aspects of the change that must be addressed, such as clarifying and creating core benefits and values of its people and the organization as a whole (Schermerhorn, Jr., Osborn, Uhi-Bien, & Hunt, 2012). Fact is the majority of individuals fear change. This fear can be detrimental to an organization because if its employees are not on-board supporting the change, it can cause more than a few road blocks. Literary Review

DOES WORKING FROM HOME WORK? EVIDENCE FROM A CHINESE EXPERIMENT In order to fully analyze the challenge that Mayer faced, we found it important to investigate the research that is working against her. In the same week that the announcement was made regarding the removal of telecommuting privileges from Yahoo!’s employees, Stanford released their own study regarding their experiments on telecommunication. Bloom, Liang, Roberts and Ying found from their experiment using a Chinese based call center, that working from home led to a 13% increase in performance. 9% of this increase was attributed to working more minutes per shift due to the tendency of the employees to take fewer breaks and fewer sick days. 4% of the increase was from more calls per minute, which the researchers attributed to a quieter working environment (Bloom, Liang, Roberts, & Zhichun, 2013). Yahoo! also faces criticism from the public as the concern for work-life balance increases. Bloom, Liang, Roberts and Ying note that the number of households in the United States with both parents working has increased from 25% in 1968 to 48% in 2008 (Bloom, Liang, Roberts, & Zhichun, 2013). At the end of the experiment, the firm found that they saved $2,000 per year per employee working from home. They then offered telecommuting to the entire firm. While there are several benefits from working from home, there is also a...
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