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1. Evaluate Google’ organizational structure. What is its type? How do you think, does this structure fit Google’ organizational strategy? Provide your answer with arguments. Do you think that some improvements of organizational structure are needed? Why? What kind of changes should be done to for this structure to be more effective?
Based on the read case I would say that Google utilizes matrix form of organizational structure which is thought to be a hybrid of divisional and functional structures. In Google senior executives are organized by functions, e.g. engineering, product management, product marketing, sales, finance etc. this made all the products in the company to be managed by teams with the manager at the head. This organization structure helps Google to assign manager for a particular product or project and manage a team of employees who are working to achieve specific metrics. The main advantage of the matrix organizational structure in Google is that the existence of a manager of a major functions keeps the focus on the product or project that is being developed. There was no micromanaging in the company. Product/project managers played a role of mentors rather than manager which gave flexibly and an opportunity to employees on their own to figure out the best way to do a work.
2. Provide detailed analysis of Google’ organizational culture. Use any model or typology to asses the main elements of this culture. What elements of Google’ organizational culture support Google’s strategy, what elements can limit or have negative effects on the company’s development? How Google should overcome it?
To analyze Google`s organizational culture I would like to use Kim Cameron and Robert Quinn (1999) model. Based on the Competing Values Framework developed by Kim Cameron and Robert Quinn I assign Adhocracy culture type to Google which is characterized by dynamic workplace with leaders that stimulate innovation in the company.
Organizational culture in the company was created in a way to encourage collegiality (collaboration with manager of major functions, colleagues not only in the home office but worldwide), break down any barriers which could prevent accomplishment of the company`s strategy and continuous development and launch of new products and services. I would characterize Google’s culture as informal, equal, with high level of employees` involvement, and empowerment and it has an aversion to bureaucracy. All this mentioned encourages engineers to develop good ideas at a faster pace.
3. Describe in details Google’ working environment. What are its merits and limitations? How Google’ motivates its employees, retain them and create a loyalty?
Google has its unique feature which makes it different from other organizations. The company`s biggest and most important resources are people, the concentration of talented people in Google is huge. So managers are aimed at the development of the informal culture in the company which makes it a great place for people to work in.
The company offers its employees the most lucrative working conditions and services which make people feel comfortable. Google offers top-benefit packages as well as numerous services on-site such as health or dental care, on-sire free laundry – thus Google takes care and “is respectful of its employees` time”. Offices and cafes at the company are designed to encourage interactions between Googlers within and across teams, and to spark conversation about work as well as play.
The company gives its employees an opportunity to do what they love in service of a meaningful mission. Employees are given all the freedom to express their ideas and voice their concerns. As a result, creative and innovative thoughts are never suppressed, and almost always make it to a manager. This encourages Googlers not to simply think – but to rather think outside the box! By giving employees the freedom to pursue new ideas, Google expects to come up with new products that keep its major competitors on their heels.
Google`s leader want theirs employees collaborate and “to think out” loud and have open discussions. Employees are capable to attend managerial meetings. Google strives to create and maintain open, informal culture and working environment which makes people to feel as a hands-on contributor and feel comfortable sharing ideas, opinions and creating innovative products and services.
4. Answer the question of Kim Scott at the end of the case (p. 13), namely what steps she and her colleagues could take to help keep Google “Googley”?
For Google it is of a paramount importance to keep its unique organizational culture, lucrative working environment to go on with “Googley”. I think that that not only Kim Scott, the director of Google`s AdSense, but all the Google`s leader should take continuous measures in order to keep innovative culture. Firstly, the company should try to minimize policies and guidelines which lead to bureaucracy and incidental concerns of employees. Moreover the company should try to maintain rapid decision making process by creating a layer of experiences managers who could be responsible for “consensuses and “Google decision making model”.
The company should try to attract more people to the meetings or provide an opportunity to all people who are interested in to be informed about going projects by creating portals or network discussions. As well I would suggest Google to set up a rotation practice within all the offices which could be a good tool for exchanging best practices and maintaining international consistency within the organization. The best practices of one office could be brought to another office and will result in tremendous growth and spread of the “same cultural Google feel”.