Meta Platforms’ Organisational Structure

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Introduction

The digital environment currently has an unprecedentedly strong effect on global affairs, which includes business operations. High-tech companies possess valuable assets and become the leading players in their industries, as well. Among them, Meta Platforms, previously known as Facebook, is one of the symbols of the advanced corporate reality of today. It reflects the priorities of the business environment, consisting of profoundly interrelated elements that need to function in a synchronised manner to introduce the future of communication and entertainment. This paper addresses the organisational structure of Meta from the perspective of ethical principles and diversity management.

Company Background

Meta’s long history of success and development dates back to the origins of its first, previously titular, product. In February 2004, a young inventor named Mark Zuckerberg, accompanied by Dustin Moskovitz, Chris Hughes, and Eduardo Saverin, launched the platform known as Facebook (Meta, 2022a). In the course of the next years, this social network saw an increasing public recognition, virtually revolutionising the concept of online communications. Last year marks the new era for this company, as it underwent rebranding. In October, Mark Zuckerberg presented the future of Facebook under the new global brand of Meta. According to him, the idea behind such rebranding is to reflect the priorities and goals of ex-Facebook in the upcoming decades (Meta, 2021). The name refers to an interconnected, virtual space-based network that creates a new environment, in which people can socialize, learn, and even work, widely known as the Metaverse.

This is a global mission that requires the collaborative efforts of the world’s leading minds, as well as tremendous resources. Zuckerberg acknowledges that even a technological giant, such as Meta (2021) itself, cannot accomplish it alone. The introduction of the Metaverse is expected to benefit from the deployment of cutting-edge technological solutions, including virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR). For this purpose, the already considerable organisation is projected to grow further, expanding its network of data centres, offices, and partners across the globe. As such, Meta requires a strong organizational framework that relies on positive business practices in the spirit of ethical diversity management that develops human resources efficiently.

Across the journey of almost two decades, Facebook gradually became a dominating force in the global market of communications and digital technology. For this purpose, the company has relied on a matrix structure to keep sufficient focus on each of its branches (Figure 1). This format allows Meta to sustain the development of all the components of its value chains through the justified distribution of responsibility across the departments. As suggested by the scope of the organisation, this distribution is based on geographical and product properties.

Facebook (Meta) Organisational Structure 
Figure 1. Facebook (Meta) Organisational Structure 

Review of the Literature

Knowledge, Training, Performance Management

As of later 2021, Meta faces global objectives that would require a strong, consolidated organisational framework. As described previously, the company employs a matrix structure to optimize the distribution of resources, supporting the innovativeness and creativity. In addition, the role of a complex interrelation between knowledge, training, and performance management of the employees is to be considered. These aspects see an increased level of attention on behalf of experts and researchers who seek to determine the key features of positive organisational development in the new era. Naturally, the exact trends within this topic will vary, depending on the industry. In the case of Meta, the company is a leader of the high-tech, digital communication sector. As such, one of the main goals of the knowledge-promoting activities is to retain this position, while becoming the pioneer of the Multiverse, as stated by Mark Zuckerberg. While it has been established that such a major endeavour will require the consolidated effort of Meta’s team in its entirety, the exact application of knowledge, training, and performance management in this particular context deserves to be explored.

The three factors identified earlier appear to form a unity of human resource development, which is valued by the contemporary institute of strategic planning. Sisyuk (2019) explores the complex synergy of training, knowledge, competence, and performance in today’s organisations. According to her, these concepts mark the progression of an employee from the initial engagement with the company’s affairs towards excellence shown in Figure 2. Sisyuk (2018) notes that company managers often remain hesitant regarding the viability of training investments. It happens due to the lack of immediate returns on such investments. However, management-promoted training is the first step an employee takes to participate in the overall transformative process within the organisation. Through training, valuable is obtained, which helps an employee adjust to the new state of research and development within the sphere. When this knowledge is thoroughly processed and deployed in the workplace, it creates what is known as competence. In other words, the ability to apply the knowledge obtained through training in the workplace is what makes an employee competent. Naturally, such efforts shortly translate into improved performance, which, in turn, is the main ingredient of true transformations.

How Training Leads to Performance
Figure 2. How Training Leads to Performance

This idea implies that there is a need for a uninterrupted progression from training to improved performance one the scale of a unity or even an individual employee. By completing this journey, a person becomes closer to aligning with the strategic vision of the organisation. In the case of Meta, this process is to revolve around the state-of-the-art technology it aims to implement to dominate the market. This mission is only possible as long as all employees understand what they are required to do and why it is important. However, while the progression appears linear and clear, a question arises regarding the criteria that mark the transition toward the next stage. Emerson and Berge (2018) argue that the scope of the knowledge is not as important as its continuity. In other words, the cycle of training and knowledge should be constant, keeping the employees engaged in their activities. In fact, they state that microlearning is an efficient tool in this regard. This idea implies that small amounts of knowledge supplied through brief training cycles are more productive than complex, large-scale initiatives completed with prolonged intermittent pauses.

Such findings highlight the essential nature of knowledge management for modern organisations. This thought is developed by Abubakar et al. (2019) who consider it among the two key priorities of sustained growth and development, the other being the decision-making strategy. While acknowledging the direct correlation between knowledge management and organisational performance, Abubakar et al. (2019) discuss the specific enablers of this relationship. More specifically, this list includes intraorganisational collaboration, soft skill development, leaning, and IT support. Meta being an advanced corporation, the technological dimension of the subject matter will not pose any issues. In addition, learning is already established as the starting point of the progression toward transformation. Therefore, Meta will benefit from the substantial measures aimed at promoting the development soft skills and collaboration within the organisation. These two factors appear closely connected to each other, as they strongly depend on the employees reciprocating the efforts to promote knowledge. Such a mutual motion is possible in the case when the interests of the company and its workers align. Thus, the employees are to feel comfortable enough in the workplace to reciprocate, highlighting the value of ethical and diverse management.

Furthermore, the managerial perspective on the subject matter is not to be ignored, either. As established by Giacomelli et al. (2019), training is a concept that is not limited to the majority of lower-ranking employees. Still, a misconception persists that higher-ranking officers of the company are not expected to work on their own competence, since it exceeds the level of their subordinates by default. Giacomelli et al. (2019) insist on an opposing point of view, from which the decision-makers should be the organisation’s beacons in the competence-building process through knowledge management. While their data was collected on the basis of healthcare providers, the observed tendency can be extrapolated to the concept of management itself. In the case of Meta, the leaders on top of each cell of the organisational matrix are to become the role models of the ongoing transformation within the company. As long as they are open to the knowledge, their followers will be more likely to reciprocate. So far, this criterion appears to be met by the company, as Zuckerberg makes an effort to spread his enthusiasm regarding this transformation, which is reflected in the name change.

The key property of a positive human resource development process is its being uninterrupted. Consequently, the knowledge is to be provided on a regular basis, even when its micro-training illustrated by Emerson and Berge (2018). Thus, an employee’s termination is the ultimate disruptive factor of the progression identified in Figure 2, making retention an essential enabler for the overall process. Vui-Yee (2019) researchers the avenues of decreasing turnover in light of efficient competence-based training in the workplace. The research is performed on the basis of an idea that training and development opportunities are projected to reduce the prevalence of turnover intentions among the employees. Nevertheless, having completed empirical investigations, Vui-Yee (2019) concludes that the presence of training and development opportunities on its own does not reduce the prevalence of turnover intentions. Furthermore, the use of performance management is found to increase this parameter. Therefore, to overthrow this tendency, an additional variable is required. It may be assumed that this variable is the employees’ preparedness to reciprocate the efforts aimed at training. This is possible in the atmosphere of mutual respect, acknowledgement and trust, enabled by the fitting paradigm of management.

Theory of the Leadership and Management Practices

The discussion within the previous section instils the idea that a profound transformation within a global organisation is possible through the consolidated efforts of both leaders and followers. Knowledge management is important for this purpose, since it accounts for the cycle of improvement that builds better performance through competence-centred training. However, while the efforts are expected to be joint, it remains a manager’s responsibility to create the environment in which such a relationship is possible. It does not suffice to inform the workers of the importance of the strategic plans or the necessity of training. Instead, a willingness to learn voluntarily and enthusiastically is to be nurtured within the team. In order to do so, the manager is to adopt a fitting leadership paradigm that would allow them to build the connection with their employees. Such paradigms are often referred to as leadership styles or theories of management. During the business research development, a range of prominent theories has appeared, but only few of them has stood the test of time. Moreover, the existence of a universal model that would fit all contexts across every industry is a disproved fact.

The history of business studies has seen dozens of models that have been implemented with varying levels of efficiency. Nevertheless, today’s body of knowledge continues to recognize only select few theories that appear relevant in the current reality. When applied to the case of Meta, the key dichotomy arises, comprising the two most prominent models of leadership that prevail in the modern literature. On the level of internal organisation structure, researchers draw a distinction between transactional and transformational leadership styles. The former refers to a more “hands-on” model, in which supervisors remain highly engaged in the operations of their units. This model implies a strong presence of clear paradigm of reward and punishment, often executed in its material form (Purwanto et al., 2020). Spoken differently, employees receive monetary rewards for the completion of goals, as well as penalties for a failure to do so. Thus, the work process resembles a sequence of tasks of varying scope and scale that form the overall development patterns of an employee. While this style is accepted and adopted in modern companies, its applicability for Meta is to be explored.

On the other hand, there is the transformational model which implies a radically different approach to the organisational structure and operational management. In its common understanding, this approach to management and leadership operates on a higher level than operational tasks performed day-to-day. Instead of the prevailing micromanagement, it relies on intrinsic motivation as the primary driver of employee efforts. Transformative management aims at creating a certain bond between the leader and the follower, which is observed on all levels across the cells of the organisational matrix (Cho et al., 2019) In a way, this model places the employee at the centre of the motivation process, refraining from a direct impetus in the form of the reward-and-punishment system. Instead, transformative leaders attempt to nurture among employees the desire to learn new competencies, thus increasing their input into the strategic development of the company (Asabari, 2020). This outcome is achieved through the alignment of values and interests, through which workers understand the mission of the organisation, as well as its importance. Therefore, their efforts originate on a more sophisticated level than the standard willingness to avoid punishment and obtain material rewards.

Table 1 compares the key properties of transactional and transformational management. Based on this data, it is possible to evaluate the effectiveness of each model for the current strategy of Meta. Cho et al. (2019) confirm that transactional leadership is better suited for smaller companies that are in the early stages of their development. At this point, their strategic goal is to settle their environment, earning a beneficial position on the market. For Meta, the priorities lie in a different dimension, as it is already a worldwide brand that seeks to change the landscape of the industry and complete a breakthrough. Companies with such goals cannot afford to remain reactive to the changeable operational environment. Instead, they should be the one to cause the changes and determine the subsequent development of the industry.

Table 1. Transactional and Transformational Management 

Transactional Transformational
Emphasis Transparent relationships, clear chain of command Alignment of values, shared interests, common initiatives
Essence Reactive Proactive
Ideal environment Small-to-medium organisations with a developing organisational culture Large-scale, well-established organisations willing to change the organisational culture and make future changes
Style Bureaucratic Charismatic
Focus Completion of tasks, execution of operations Innovation and creativity
Motivation Extrinsic: reward-and-punishment system Intrinsic: inspiration, understanding of the goals and values

In this regard, transformational leadership implies a pivotal role of creativity and innovativeness as the driving force of the titular transformation, which is needed by Meta. As confirmed by Hansen and Pihl-Thingvad (2019), transformational leadership is better for nurturing the intrinsic pursuit of innovation, as it eliminates the fear of indeterminacy, prompting the team to venture into the uncharted territory of development. Furthermore, industry leaders find it difficult to retain the growth, as compared to the entities behind them. For the latter, there is always an option to imitate the patterns of the more successful counterparts, whereas the top players of the market are expected to develop new avenues of development (Alrowwad et al., 2020). Under such circumstances, creativity is a quality of utmost importance, and it is not limited to the decision-makers on top of the matrix. Ma and Jiang (2018) found that transformational leadership does not immediately increase creativity. However, the psychological empowerment it creates is a major enabler of innovation and growth in the long term. Therefore, Meta will benefit from the prevailing presence of transformational leadership practices in its organisational model.

At the same time, the contemporary ideas of efficient management are not limited to the mere choice between the two key alternatives in the form of transactional versus transformational leadership. In order to sustain a large organisation’s growth, management should also meet the ethical criteria of modern society. For this purpose, the leading experts and researchers continue to investigate the key characteristics of ethical management practices from a theoretical perspective. In the context of Meta, the Stakeholder theory appears to be the most promising one. According to its central postulates, a modern organisation can only thrive if it continuously lays emphasis on the stakeholder value, as opposed to an emphasis on the shareholders.

In other words, the Stakeholder theory renders financial profits a secondary metric, as compared to the level of rapport between the company and its clients. Rusconi (2019) believes in the synthesis of the Stakeholder theory with the Ethical Firm System as the future of organisational planning and development. Such a merged paradigm ensures that the managerial perspective is formed in light of both internal and external ethical practices that leave stakeholders and employees satisfied. If these criteria are met, financial revenues will follow naturally.

Diversity Management and Organizational Culture at Meta Platforms

Productive management of the 21st century needs to meet several key criteria that allow an organisation to be efficient in terms of its strategic development. First of all, there is to be a strong organisational structure that meets the scope and the scale of the objectives faced. Second, the company’s environment is to provide competence-centred growth opportunities that promote engagement and performance on behalf of the employees. Third, the management is to select and execute a particular leadership style that corresponds with the strategy and mission of the entity. Fourth, the ethical perspective should be considered to ensure the rapport with stakeholders and employees. Finally, each worker within the company’s framework need to benefit from the environment, in which they can reach the full potential regardless of their background or any variables. This final notion refers to the concept of diversity management that allows leaders to unify large collectives of people with diverse characteristics. It is the reality of the globalised economy of the 21st century that seeks to provide equal opportunities for people, no matter their gender, sexuality, ethnicity, or social status.

For large players, such as Meta, a diverse team is an inevitable fact, meaning that its leaders should know how to manage it. Benteh Rahman (2019) states that diversity is a seemingly simple concept that, however, embeds in itself an array of variables that add complexity to the workplace relationships. Within the scope of this article, diversity is understood as “acknowledging, understanding, accepting, and valuing differences among people” with respect to the aforementioned variables (Benteh Rahman, 2019, p. 32). In an inclusive organisation, they do not factor into the nature of the professional relationships, which contributes to the positive workplace environment. Importantly, organisational diversity does not necessarily refer to overt racism or any other form of discrimination, the perceived absence of which is enough to proclaim inclusiveness. Even without direct rudeness and oppression, diversity management can be deemed insufficient in all organisations. Inclusive leadership suggests that the variables in question do not have any observable effect on the performance and input of an employee. In other words, each person is to have the right conditions for the development of their competencies and knowledge.

The role of the leader in this regard is a central one, as the management is responsible for the organisational features of the entity. Li et al. (2020) also relate the presence and quality of diversity management to the efforts made by the leader of a division or the entire company. According them, there is a direct correlation between how diversity management is executed and the level of performance the organisation sees. Such factors as age, gender, and race affect the resources and worldview of an individual objectively. Therefore, similar patterns cannot be applied without respect to these factors. For each person, the exact circumstances under which they can attain their full potential will vary. Interestingly, Li et al. (2020) include skills and knowledge on the list of the diversity variables. In this scenario, the idea is that the absence of certain competencies should not be perceived as a reason to discriminate a worker. Instead, it should help the management identify the growth points within the organisation, pointing at the new avenues of performance improvement. Moreover, these avenues should equally vary to meet the abilities and worldview of each employee group.

For Meta, the role of effective diversity management is difficult to overestimate. This company is global in all meanings of the term, as it operates across the whole world. Uniting today’s largest digital platforms under its dome, Meta is required to maintain an extended value chain that spans across continents. With hundreds of thousands of employees, the company has offices and data centres in over 80 cities and in every part of the globe. In a way, Meta could rank among the most diverse collectives in the industry or in general. Furthermore, its platforms count over 3 billion users from nearly 200 countries, which implies that the stakeholder base remains equally diverse (Meta, 2022b). Therefore, Meta’s management is put in a position where it is surrounded by extreme diversity which reflects the spirit of the 21st century. A failure to comply with the inclusiveness expectations may mean the end of Meta as the industry’s leader. Unless diversity management is effective, its team will never reach the potential it could, running further on limited talents. In addition, its users will be disappointed, which contradicts the priorities of the Stakeholder management theory.

In this regard, Meta recognizes the importance of inclusive management, which is reflected in their mission statement. According to the company, its culture is aimed at “constantly iterating, solving problems and working together to connect people all over the world” (Meta, 2022b, para. 3). This mission includes the employment of people with different backgrounds from all over the world. As per the organisation, inclusive human resource management helps the leaders make better decisions that will benefit society rather than a limited group of people. Building connections between people is said to be a priority for Meta, along with providing each employee with a voice. As reported, the company ensures every member of the team that they have an opportunity to express their point of view, as controversial as it may be. This stance aligns with the academic perception of diversity management. Its key value is not good publicity or public opinion but the diverse input of various groups people. A person with a specific background may see what the others are missing, thus adjusting the company’s plans for the future.

On the other hand, there may be difference between what the company reports about itself and what the public sees, which applies to diversity, as well. As one of the most prominent companies of the 21st century, Meta often finds itself at the centre of the media’s attention. In 2020, Gravier (2020) reported that the company (Facebook at the time) struggled to meet its own diversity management expectation. More specifically, the rates of gender and race diversity saw an insignificant increase that year, despite the previous statements made by Zuckerberg and other managers. By 2024, Facebook expected to double the number of its female, black, and Hispanic employees, but the numbers grew by single-digit percent. Nevertheless, the results of the subsequent year illustrated that the company made certain improvements in this area. The company now employs more leaders of African origin, but the women’s representation in the structure still leaves much to be desired. Therefore, Meta has made progress in terms of diversity management, but there is room for urgent improvement through profound changes.

Conclusion

Overall, Meta is one of the most ambitious high-tech companies in the world, striving to change the landscape of the industry with its breakthrough inventions. For this purpose, the organisation has built a global network that encompasses all continents of the globe in a uniform effort to instil major transformations. This process will only be possible through the consolidated approach that utilises the full potential of the diverse human resources at Meta’s disposal. First of all, the company is expected to provide its employees with the opportunities to acquire new knowledge through training, transforming it into competencies that support performance. Without a fitting organisational environment, this cycle may be interrupted by the lack of reciprocation or increased turnover within the company. Therefore, Meta needs to create a positive atmosphere, in which each all employees feel prompted to research new opportunities and grow along with the organisation.

This mission depends strongly on the relevance of the chosen leadership model. Research suggests that Meta should rely on the transformational approach to management. This model fits large, well-established entities that lead their sectors and aim to explore new, cutting-edge methods of business. The transformative, future-oriented nature of this approach is embedded in its very name, and its features make it a viable choice for Meta’s management. Furthermore, the paradigm of transformative leadership should be complemented by a combination of stakeholder theory-based management and firm system theory. This way, the company will not be detached from reality or focus on the wrong priorities. Instead, Meta will build a solid framework with the management at the middle and an emphasis on both stakeholders and employees.

For these initiatives to take effect, the company needs to benefit from its diverse operational environment. Both employee and stakeholders of Meta are increasingly diverse due to the organisation’s unprecedented scope of work. Since 2019, the management has acknowledged the value of this concept for the development of the corporation, but the practical efforts are still below par. Diverse opinions are important for global companies, as they help them see their strategies from a variety of perspectives. The sight of a single person is naturally limited, which means that the diversity of opinions is essential in pursuit of objectivity. If Meta meets the aforementioned criteria, it will be one step closer toward the better future it seeks to build.

Reference List

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BusinessEssay. "Meta Platforms' Organisational Structure." December 8, 2022. https://business-essay.com/meta-platforms-organisational-structure/.