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A corporate system for continuous innovation: the case of Google Inc.

A company's organizational culture plays a vital role in its success. A company's culture helps it attract the best talent available in the industry. The case discusses the organizational culture at Google Inc. Google was one of the few companies that successfully blended technological innovation with strong organizational culture. The case provides insight into the work environment, and recruitment process at Google. The case also provides insight into how Google fostered innovation among employees. The case ends with a critique of Google's organizational culture. Abstract: Google, based in Mountain View, California, is the worlds most popular search engine. The company was not just known for its innovative breakthroughs in the technology front, but is also known for its unique culture and innovative Human Resource (HR) policies. In a survey conducted by BusinessWeek magazine, Google was the most sought after company by college students, MBAs, women, engineers, and diverse individuals. Google ranked 1st on the 10th annual 100 Best Companies to Work For list of Fortune, a we ll-known international business magazine. HR practices at Google is named People Operations, which is designed to underline the fact that it is not a mere administrative function, but ensures to build a strong employee-employer relationship. Googles HR practices clearly reveal the impressive results of the companys approach, which help in increasing employee productivity. The case facilitates discussion on whether the Best Place to Work For culture at Google is to really attract and motivate the employees or if it is with a business motive.

Purpose History is full of companies that were once innovative leaders but lost their innovative ability. The purpose of this paper is to explore, from a firm-level perspective, organizational characteristics for continuous innovation in rapidly changing industries. Design/methodology/approach Findings from 28 interviews at Google Inc., are compared to previous research on organizational characteristics for continuous innovation. Findings Google's organization can be viewed as a dynamic and open corporate system for continuous innovation, involving the entire organization and supported by an innovation-oriented and change-prone top management and board. The relative importance of eight organizational characteristics in this corporate system is elaborated upon. Research limitations/implications There is a need for empirical research contributing to the development of a more comprehensive analytical framework for continuous innovation, including the role of culture and selection/facilitation of self-organizing individuals in innovation processes; and to study how to organize for both continuous innovation and continuous improvements. Practical implications The importance of factors such as culture and the selection of individuals, identified in the empirical study, needs to be considered by managers, and might influence their understanding of how to sustain continuous innovation over time. Originality/value This paper provides, from a firm-level perspective and based on a unique access to empirical data, increased understanding of organizational characteristics conducive to continuous innovation in rapidly changing industries, and highlights the importance of characteristics that received less emphasis in previous research literature.

I. Introduction Google is a high tech company with amazing growth rates. Inherent with its growth Google has to face challenges. In the following essay the personality of the founders of Google and the company is highlighted. Consequently the required personality of the candidates for employment at Google is explored. Furthermore the present selection process so far is in focus. This research results in the answer of a best case selection process. Besides these themes the future development of Googles Corporate Culture and Structure affected by the enormous growth of the company is brought forward. The essay ends with a comparison of Google with the German High Tech company SAP which had a similar development 20 years earlier.

II. Identify

A. Synopsis of text structure Ten years ago Google was an unknown. In the meantime it has become a household term. It has entered the English language not only as a proper noun, but also as a verb google it. How has this come to be and what are the factors which have played the key roles in this successful story? Google was founded in 1998 by Larry Page and Serge Brin in a garage in California. From this two man operation a company with about 7.000 Googlers working in Googleplexes all over the globe has emerged. The increase of staff occurred concurrently with the increase of services offered. Originally Google offered the product of a search machine. Today it has different types of products from the search machine function over Google Earth to Google Alerts which allows you to be automatically updated on a special theme. These developments coupled with Corporate Culture values of creativity illustrate the reciprocal influence of staff recruitment and corporate growth.

B. Prominent Characteristics Analyzing the development of Google one can see that within Google Corporate they have implemented a lot of special features for their employees and that they live a very uncommon way for business life, which leads to a unique Corporate Culture at Google. As Google was founded by two very young men, they have inserted their personal values and opinions and their way of living 1 within Google Inc. Larry Page and Serge Brin wanted Google to be a fun place to work Consequently Google offers their employees many possibilities which reflect their beliefs. Googlers for example are allowed to bring their pets along and are provided with free snacks, lunch and dinner. They have also the possibility to use facilities like work-out gyms, pool tables, ping pong tables and also video game corners against the background of having fun while working for Google Inc. Such a benefit structure belongs to the Corporate Culture of Google. Besides these added benefits the work flow is also organized in an uncommon way. Instead of high organizational levels, Google has a flat hierarchy with only one step of top management in front. Furthermore Google Inc. organizes its work in small teams with changing project leaders among the teammates. These Teams work as self responsible units on Projects. And even more Google Inc. facilitates individual ideas by providing their employees at work with 20 % of their time on self directed projects.

C. Crystallization of points of concern

But besides these positive attitudes of Google and its self-conception, there are some questions left. The most interesting questions are: Organizational Structure and Organizational Culture Within this topic there are the questions like, what are the personality traits of the founders and what is the personality of Google Inc.? Consequently following this logic there is also the interesting question, what personality does a prospective employee has to have to be the right choice for the Google family. And there is the question of recruiting methods to get the personnel with the needed skills. Furthermore there is a second complex of questions which is very interesting. Growth development and possible consequences Summarized under this are questions which aim at the future development and challenges of Google. How can Google deal with growth within its workforce? How does Google with its special Corporate Culture solve the challenge of globalization, which distributes their employees all over the world? How can a Google Inc. Organizational Structure with its low levels of hierarchy and high level of self-responsibility handle their future growth of turnover, employees and profit.

D. Conclusion In cultural questions Google takes another way in comparison to the common practice. The success entitles Google to behave in such a way. But there are also questions concerning / involving the personality of the employees working for Google and others dealing with the future of Google. These questions will be focused on in the following.

Google`s Organizational Culture-Human Resource and Organization Behavior Case Studies


Google 's Organizational Culture Google has experienced employee turnover with a value of zero , mainly because the organization has removed unnecessary hierarchies in management . It employs only those people who have shown academic excellence in top-ranking universities . Once employed , Google makes them spend almost twelve hours each day on their jobs ( Google 's Organizational Culture

The founders of Google have always insisted on making their company a fun place to work . Thus , the workplace uses Lava Lamps for decoration , and is painted in the colors of the Google Logo rather bright , indeed . The people of Google - referred to as the Googlers - are permitted to bring along their pets to the workplace . Charlie Ayers , a celebrity chef , has catered to the dietary needs of the Googlers . They are all served free snacks , in addition to lunch and dinner . Moreover , in the Googleplex there are snack rooms for the Googlers , serving them gummi bears , Googlers cereals , cashew nuts , as well as other snacks . Fruit juices , cappuccino , and soda are also available , of course ( Google 's Organizational Culture Thus , Google 's organizational culture is meant to be a source of comfort for the Googlers . Furthermore , all of them are given free rein in the matter of creativity . As a matter of fact , innovation and creativity are highly valued at Google . In the past the Googlers did not have a convenient way of expressing or recording their ideas Today , Google uses an internal web page to track new ideas Undoubtedly , these ideas come from some of the most intelligent people in the workforces of the nations where Google has set up its offices After all , the company values brainpower more than it would ever value experience ( Google 's Organizational Culture Works Cited Google 's Organizational Culture ' ICFAI . 5 Oct . 2007