Google's Organizational Culture|Human Resource|Organization Behavior|Case Study|Case Studies

Google's Organizational Culture

            
 
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Case Details:

Case Code : HROB041
Case Length : 11 Pages
Period : 1996 - 2004
Pub Date : 2004
Teaching Note : Available
Organization : Google Inc.
Industry : IT
Countries : USA

To download Google's Organizational Culture case study (Case Code: HROB041) click on the button below, and select the case from the list of available cases:

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Excerpts

Google's Organizational Culture

Google had an informal work culture at Googleplex (its headquarters). Both Larry and Sergey wanted to make Google a fun place to work. Reflecting their beliefs, the Googleplex was decorated with Lava Lamps and painted in the bright colors of the Google Logo (Refer Figure I for Google Logo).

Googlers were allowed to bring their pets in to the workplace, and were themselves provided with free snacks, lunch and dinner prepared by a celebrity chef Charlie Ayers. The Googleplex had snack rooms offering Googlers cereals, gummi bears, cashew nuts and other snacks along with fruit juices, soda and cappuccino...

Human Resource and Organization Behavior | Case Study in Management, Operations, Strategies, Human Resource and Organization Behavior, Case Studies

Recruitment

Sergey and Larry also focused on recruiting people with the right frame of mind. They were themselves personally involved in the recruitment process. In order to attract high performing candidates, Google posted top ten reasons to work for Google on its website (Refer Table II).

Google recruited people with diverse skills and qualities (Refer Table III). While recruiting, Google attached a lot of importance to academic excellence as revealed in grade scores in SAT and other graduate exams. To get an interview call from Google, a person had to be from a top-ranking university...

Innovations at Google

Google management also focused on encouraging innovation and creativity at the workplace. It realized that to maintain its growth, the company had to come out with new products/features. However, the company faced problems on how to tap ideas that could be turned into successful products. Said Silverstein, "We always had great ideas, but we didn't have a good way of expressing them or capturing them." To overcome the problem, Google set up an internal web page for tracking new ideas...

A Critique of Google's Culture

Many analysts feel that Google's zero per cent employee turnover rate during the dotcom boom, was a testament to its salubrious organizational culture. But not everyone was convinced that Google had got it right in terms of its work culture. They felt that company's culture was not set to manage its growth. A 12-hour working day had become norm at the company. Google's recruitment process was also criticized by analysts.

It was pointed out that Google had become too narrow in its recruitment by focusing only on the academic records and graduate ranks of the applicants rather than on experience. Commenting on the recruitment process, one Googler said, "If you've been at Cisco for 20 years, they don't want you." But the management defended the recruitment process saying that they valued intelligence and brainpower more than experience...

Exhibits

Exhibit I: Google Features
Exhibit II: Awards & Recognitions Won by Google


 

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Google's Organizational Culture|Human Resource|Organization Behavior|Case Study|Case Studies

Google's Organizational Culture

            
 
Case Studies | Case Study in Business, Management, Operations, Strategy, Case Study

ICMR HOME | Case Studies Collection

Case Details:

Case Code : HROB041
Case Length : 11 Pages
Period : 1996 - 2004
Pub Date : 2004
Teaching Note : Available
Organization : Google Inc.
Industry : IT
Countries : USA

To download Google's Organizational Culture case study (Case Code: HROB041) click on the button below, and select the case from the list of available cases:

Human Resource and Organization Behavior | Case Study in Management, Operations, Strategies, Human Resource and Organization Behavior, Case Studies

Price:
For delivery in electronic format: Rs. 300;
For delivery through courier (within India): Rs. 300 + Rs. 25 for Shipping & Handling Charges

Human Resource and Organization Behavior Case Studies
HRM Short Case Studies
View Detailed Pricing Info
How To Order This Case
Business Case Studies
Area Specific Case Studies
Industry Wise Case Studies
Company Wise Case Studies

Custom Search


Please note:

This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.



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Strategic Management Formulation, Implementation, & Control, 12e

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'So Far So Good' Contd...

Larry used his dormitory room as a data center, while Sergey used his room to set up a business office. By now, they knew that their search technology was superior to any other technology available. They started looking actively for potential partners interested in licensing their search engine technology.

Larry and Sergey contacted many people including friends and family. One of the people they got in touch with was David Filo (Filo), the founder of Yahoo, a leading portal2. Filo complimented them for the 'solid technology' they had built, but did not enter into any agreement with them. Instead, he encouraged them to start their own company.

Human Resource and Organization Behavior | Case Study in Management, Operations, Strategies, Human Resource and Organization Behavior, Case Studies

The owners of many other portals also refused to invest in their technology. The CEO of one such portal told them, "As long as we are 80% as good as our competitors that is good enough. Our users do not really care about search."3

During the late 1990s, 'dotcom fever' was at its peak in the US, and almost everyone was opening a dotcom company. Though Larry and Sergey were not very keen on opening their own company, they decided to set one up, since they were unable to attract any partners.

However, they first had to clear off the debts they had accumulated to buy the memory disks and to move out of their 'dorm office'. The duo put their PhD plans on hold, and began looking for a prospective investor in their business.

Help came in the form of a faculty member from Stanford University who introduced them to Andy Bechtolsheim (Andy), one of the co-founders of Sun Microsystems. Andy saw their presentation and was very impressed. He knew that it had a lot of potential and handed over a check of $100,000 in favor of Google Inc.4, an entity that did not yet exist.

Since Larry and Sergey could not deposit the check in their accounts, they decided to set up a corporation named Google Inc.

After collecting another $1 million from their families, friends and acquaintances, Larry and Sergey opened office on September 7, 1998. The office was located in the garage of a friend's house in Menlo Park, California. The name Google, though chosen by accident, indicated the company's mission to sort out and organize the immense data available on the web. The website www.google.com became operational and the duo recruited their first employee - fellow Stanford student Craig Silverstein (Silverstein), who later became Google's Technical Director.

Excerpts >>


2] A portal is a website featuring commonly used services as a starting point and a common gateway to the web (a web portal) or a niche topic (vertical portal/vortal). The services offered by most portals include a search engine, news, email, stock quotes, chat, forums, maps, shopping and customization options. Large portals include many more services apart from the ones mentioned above.

3] www.google.com

4] The name Google was derived from the word Googol, which denotes the number one followed by a hundred zeros.

 

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