Google’s Organizational Culture & Its Characteristics (An Analysis)

Google organizational culture (corporate culture) characteristics, online advertising, cloud computing business management case study and analysis
A multi-site videoconference meeting through Google Hangouts. Google LLC’s organizational culture motivates employees to focus on innovation in the online advertising, information technology, and consumer electronics business. (Photo: Public Domain)

Google’s organizational culture is a driving force that pushes the company to continue its leadership in the information technology and online advertising industries. A company’s organizational culture, which in this business case is the corporate culture, refers to the traditions, customs, and behavioral ideals that predominantly influence employees’ behaviors. Google’s corporate culture motivates employees to share information for the purpose of supporting innovation. Innovation is a factor that enables the company to maintain its competitiveness against other technology businesses, such as Apple, Facebook, IBM, Amazon.com, Microsoft, Intel, Twitter, and Snap Inc. (Snapchat). Through its corporate culture, Google LLC ensures that its workforce is competent in addressing business needs linked to the external forces generated by these competitors. The corporation actively develops its cultural strengths through institutional measures, like training, and through informal approaches, such as personalized leadership and management support. Efforts to continuously improve the characteristics of Google’s organizational culture are applied to maintain creativity and innovation.

Google’s cultural features are focused on enhancing employee performance. The company expects effective motivation through its organizational culture. For example, in developing solutions to target customers’ everyday problems, Google’s corporate culture motivates workers to think outside the box and aim for novel ideas. In this way, the organizational culture facilitates human resource support for various strategies, such as Google’s generic strategy and intensive growth strategies. This cultural support is a success factor in the international market for Internet services, digital advertising, cloud computing services, hardware and software, and consumer electronics.

Google’s Organizational Culture Type and Its Characteristics

Google has an organizational culture for innovation. The company also emphasizes the importance of openness among employees, as a way of promoting an innovative mindset. The resulting innovation applies to Google’s approaches in competing in various industries. For instance, the company innovates its technological assets and services provided to customers in the online advertising industry. The following characteristics define Google’s corporate culture:

  1. Openness
  2. Innovation
  3. Excellence that comes with smartness
  4. Hands-on approach
  5. Small-company-family rapport

Openness. This cultural characteristic refers to the sharing of information among Google’s employees. The company’s objective in promoting openness is to encourage the dissemination of valuable knowledge that can support further innovation. For example, the corporate culture motivates individual employees to interact with each other at various times of their typical workday, as a way of improving the knowledge they use in their jobs. In relation, Google’s operations management strategy supports this cultural trait through appropriate workplace layouts that facilitate such interaction. Also, the design of Google’s organizational structure enhances the organizational culture by encouraging workers to communicate and share their ideas.

Innovation. Innovation is a critical success factor in Google’s business. The company’s organizational culture motivates employees to contribute to the overall innovation of the business and its products. For example, this cultural characteristic promotes employees’ out-of-the-box thinking to discover or invent new solutions to current and emerging needs in the multinational market. Innovation contributes to business effectiveness in addressing the trends enumerated in the PESTEL/PESTLE analysis of Google LLC. This condition also means that the company’s types and level of innovation changes according to the relevant needs identified in the information technology and services market.

Excellence. This cultural characteristic focuses on achieving excellent results from all areas of Google’s business. This characteristic of the organizational culture is integrated in human resource development programs to inculcate an appreciation for excellence among employees. For example, training programs are designed to motivate workers to continually improve their output, and to not settle for mediocre results. In this regard, Google’s corporate culture promotes smartness in the workforce, and pushes employees to strive for excellent work.

Hands-on Approach. Through its corporate culture, Google applies a hands-on approach to human resource development. This cultural characteristic focuses on using experiential learning as an effective way of improving employees’ knowledge, skills, and abilities. Theoretical knowledge is not enough at Google LLC. Workers are expected to learn as they continue in their journey as part of the company’s organization. In practice, this feature of the organizational culture is implemented through policies that support employees’ involvement in projects and experiments. Such experiments test new ideas in support of innovation in product development that affect Google’s marketing mix or 4P. In this way, the company’s corporate culture enhances employees’ experience, including on-the-job learning and training that contribute to human resource competencies.

Small-Company-Family Rapport. Google LLC is known for its support for small-company-family rapport in its workspaces. This cultural characteristic focuses on the social interactions among workers. For example, Google maintains a warm work environment where employees can easily talk and share ideas with each other. The objective in this case is to use the corporate culture as a way of optimizing internal communications and idea generation. This characteristic of the organizational culture also helps Google in optimizing employee morale. In theory, warm social relations in the workplace contribute to employee satisfaction in their jobs.

Google’s Corporate Culture – Recommendations

Google’s organizational culture is specific to addressing the needs of the information technology and online services business. For example, through the cultural trait of innovation, the company ensures that its products satisfy industry standards and are at the leading edge of technological development. These factors contribute to the strengths enumerated in the SWOT analysis of Google LLC. As one of the biggest technology businesses in the global market, the company is an example of effective organizational design and human resource development manifested in the corporate culture.

A possible improvement to Google’s organizational culture is the further intensification of information sharing. Currently, even though the company’s cultural characteristics support communications and information sharing, such sharing occurs in a controlled manner. Google can increase employees’ degree of freedom in this regard, to maximize the speed and efficiency of knowledge transfer. This recommendation aims to increase the rate of innovation in the company’s product development processes. In addition, Google can improve its corporate culture through additional innovative programs that are designed to support specialized functions among individual employees. This recommendation aims to increase employees’ knowledge, skills, and abilities to innovate.

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