Google is one of the most popular and profitable search engines in the world which creates a unique culture and perception of human resources. Its HR and culture are influenced and depended upon risks and unique characteristics of a product they sell. The strategy of an organization involves how it plans to achieve its mission and goals and is partly determined by its culture. However, Google strategy can also become one of the factors that influence the evolution of culture. Given that leadership becomes particularly important, it is crucial to understand the role and influence of leaders in the acculturation process and healthy organizational culture. Despite great changes and transformation brought by Google, its culture is criticized because of great pressure, risk taking nature of business and demand for creativity.
Google way of culture makes its unique. By demonstrating and communicating its culture, Google attracts and retains top employees. The unique identity can also become a source of competitive differentiation in the development of strategy (Bloisi et al 2003). The presence of an identity leads to higher employee commitment. Belonging to Google with a strong identity provides employees with a sense of family and belonging, which are essential factors in employee morale and satisfaction. Much has been written about the positive aspects of such an identity. Organizational environment and work relations have a great impact on an employee and his motivation, objectives and personal achievements.
For this reason, every employer tries to select the best place he/she can contribute to and fulfill his life aims and career goals (Crowther and Green 2004). Google’s organizational culture is based on chaos management which helps it to compete in modern fierce environment. “This fluid, risk-taking, casual style of work is known to Google employees as the ‘‘Google’ way of working. Google embodies the feeling that employees have of being part of an elite group of free-thinking IT experts” (“Googling Out of Control” 2007, p. 26).
Internal and External Influences
Google way of work provides the identity and collective commitment that is central to encouraging stability in an organization. A healthy culture is essential for the health of the organization. It can be achieved through strong personal image and effective communication (Mullins, 1993). The centralized, highly integrated organizational structure of Google communications is the best one for the large professional organization (“Googling Out of Control” 2007).
This structure allows management to provide integration and coordination across a number of diverse functional areas and between several organizational levels. Internal communications with employees are closely coordinated with external interaction with the financial community. Divisional management’s contributions have to be integrated with headquarters staff and senior management. An absence of coordination/integration produces disarray and a lack of discipline and focus in corporate communications (Bloisi et al 2003). Organizational arrangements are directed by manufacturer-distributor-retailer relationships.
Where a large manufacturer is linked to numerous small distributors, the manufacturer emphasizes marketing leadership. The case of Wal-Mart allows saying that where a large distributor such as a wholesaler deals with a large number of manufacturers, retailers, or both, he furnishes the leadership. The Google introduces a formal communication based on centralized decision making. Implementation of the marketing-management concept has resulted in more operationally structured organizations. In centralized organizations, strategies are chosen and standards are set by various managers to achieve what they feel is important and to evaluate effectiveness.
Situations are highly organized and formalized, but still result in conflict and confusion. For example, conflicting directives may be given from one source to increase sales, from another to reduce advertising, and from a third to limit style changes. Plans and procedures will help the company to avoid mistakes and indecision (“Googling Out of Control” 2007).
At the large professional organization like Google, systems emphasize the integration and coordination of functions and facilities, the adaptation of organizations to their internal and external environments, the impact of changes in one part of the organization on others, the resources necessary to support the organization system itself, the resources necessary to achieve goals, and the ends mean relationship. Systems stress the interrelationships or connectedness of organizations. Although the structure, or formal part, of an organization can be easily portrayed, the informal organization, the part that greatly affects behavior and performance, cannot (Mullins, 1993).
Task delegation will be introduced in all management levels. A business is a social system whose efficiency is influenced greatly by interpersonal relationships. Thus, to understand a marketing organization is to understand more than its formal structure. No one organizational scheme can be developed, or set of principles established, that can specify the best organization for a company. But knowledge of factors influencing organizational behavior, of the impact of market forces, of organization concepts, and of alternative tools for coordinating and integrating human effort, can furnish a basis for approaching the problems of marketing organization (Bloisi et al 2003).
Organizational Culture and Employee Relations
Risk taking behavior is a core of Google way of working. The rationale for risks is that a large part of the marketing manager’s responsibility is the change in the structure of his organization. He must challenge accepted methods of organizing activities, for in marketing, correct and permanent organizational arrangements do not exist. Google shows that the strength of the bond varies from one organization to the next and even within subgroups inside a single organization. However, regardless of the strength, culture provides the identity and collective commitment that is central to encouraging stability in an organization.
A healthy culture is essential for the health of the organization. It can be achieved through strong personal image and effective communication (Robbins, 2004). The proposals will change structure of work and interpersonal relationships. The demand for high quality and service excellence will influence morale and satisfaction of employees. It can lead to resistance to change and opposition movement. A common mistake is to conceive employees and their relations as fixed entities. To the contrary, they should be constantly forming around a specific task or goal, fixing things, celebrating their accomplishments, disbanding, and then forming again with different people appropriate to take on another problem with new goals (Nadler and Tushman 1999). The answer to that question is problematic.
In the process of fixing the small things, teams tend to become insular and can forget why they exist. In focusing on their particular goal, they forget not only the ultimate customer, but also those teams around them. Worse yet, teams can become competitive, combative, and even destructive to the organization. Goal displacement occurs when activities that are originally intended to help improve organizational goals become ends in themselves (“Googling Out of Control” 2007).
At Google, espoused values include ethical principles and high quality of the products delivered, social responsibilities and innovations. This strategy has more to do with the value system of high-level management than it does with the external environment. To make the correct choices, Google introduces a strict code of responsibilities and duties. It has also been acknowledged that the managers of Google have important obligations to a variety of stakeholders and not just the shareholders, and this should be reflected in the organization’s statements of purpose, such as mission statements (“Googling Out of Control” 2007).
The leaders make most, if not all, of the decisions regarding the various factors that will shape culture (unique values, morals, communication) (Robbins, 2004). Once they are in place, they in turn influence the culture that contributed to their creation. Google growth depends on effective operations and performance, employees’ commitment and organizational structure. Risks taking meets and reflects ] career goals and life expectations, personal needs and values so important for every employee. Marketing organization and leadership is concerned with both internal organization and the development of systems. This organization can meet external and internal needs and innovate (Bloisi et al 2003).
Google does not operate in a vacuum but interacts with other originations and community in general. For this reason, general environment influences the organization and its strategies. Taking into account the nature of work and the industry, competition and economic demand will have the impact on organization’s operations and performance. Another benefit of strategic credibility is a potential reduction in the cost of capital.
Credibility and the disclosure of strategic information serve to reduce investor perceptions of risk and uncertainty, lowering the expected rate of return on their investment–or so the financial theory goes. A shifting environment may require a departure or change in corporate strategy (Bloisi et al 2003). Many corporate executives concluded that, on balance, the benefits of communicating strategy outweighed the potential problems. They also suggested ways of minimizing negative outcomes. The company should resist competition and innovate in order remain competitive (Crowther and Green 2004).
At Google, the important communications characteristic is simplicity; keep the strategy message simple, but communicate it with great frequency. Also, resist the temptation to rest on one’s laurels when things seem to be going well; avoid complacency and the “frontrunner” phenomenon (“Googling Out of Control” 2007). The job of strategy communications is never done. Also, self-serving attributions that take too much credit for good performance while blaming poor performance on uncontrollable, external factors can erode strategic credibility (Crowther and Green 2004).
At Google, individual behavior and perforce is a part of leadership and management. Most of employees pay attention to the big picture of business but neglect small details. Also, transformational leadership is based on change while most of the employees resist and fear of constant change. Thus, the ability to focus on goals and the issues surrounding them is the primary concern. If team members respect each other’s competence, most personality problems will work themselves out.
Furthermore, the more time a team spends on interpersonal relationships, the less effective it becomes. There is an inverse correlation between the time spent on “people problems” and team effectiveness. Effective and successful teams focus on issues pertaining to the team goal. Both relate to how the leader manages the team and both bring focus on the task to be done; however, they are different in very specific ways. Combining individual strengths means influencing rather than directing. Influencing requires a different skill than managing in a hierarchical structure, where direction is more common (Mullins, 1993).
Google way of working considers organizational values in their development will become an extension of organizational values. The values that give an organization credibility also will give credibility to the individual. They will be a source of self-fulfillment and personal integrity. While organizational values relate to employees, profit, customers, stakeholders, community, and the like, individual goals will relate to fairness, honesty, trust, respect, quality, and cooperation. These are precisely the values that are inherent in the organizational values statement. Alone, however, these values are far too general and open to interpretation. It is easy to forget the particular and complicated nature of human moral experience. Thinking about and discussing the risk implications of a goal is more practical and valuable than using a list of values or ethical models.
Acting on the risk taking implications is even more valuable. Decision and creative actions are the relentless effort to make values a part of the goal-setting equation. Where the managers go wrong is in expecting more from these values than they can deliver. The industry depends upon effective leaders who establish clear goals for the entire organization. Proclaiming decision-making and problem-solving skills that have made them so successful, managers readily take responsibility for other people’s problems and give them back ready-made solutions.
Indeed, top managers gain authority in the first place because they take responsibility and solve problems with such aplomb. Managers rarely receive promotions for providing the leadership required to do adaptive work. Management gains commitment to performance through contractual arrangements, leadership through empowerment.
List of References
Bloisi, W., Cook, C. W., Hunsker, Ph. L. 2003. Management and Organizational Behavior. McGraw-Hill Education.
Crowther, D., Green, M. 2004. Organizational Theory. Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development.
Googling Out of Control. 2007. Strategy Direction 23 (8), pp. 25-27.
Mullins, L.J. 1993. Management and Organizational Behaviour. 3 d Edition. Pitman Publishing.
Robbins, S. 2004. Organizational Behavior. Prentice Hall. 11 Ed.