Facebook Inc.’s Organizational Culture (An Analysis)

Facebook Inc. organizational culture, corporate cultural characteristics, advantages, disadvantages, online social media networking, case study analysis
The entrance to Facebook Inc. headquarters in Menlo Park, California. Facebook’s organizational culture supports innovation in the social media business. Its corporate cultural characteristics ensure flexibility and speedy problem solving. (Photo: Public Domain)

Facebook Inc. develops its human resources with the hacker organizational culture in mind. The company maintains its competitiveness partly through its organizational culture. A firm’s organizational or corporate culture defines the traditions, values and customs that influence employee behavior. In this business analysis case of Facebook Inc., the corporate culture translates to the way employees solve problems, as the organization’s social networking website, apps, and social media services evolve. The company also uses its organizational culture to promote creativity and innovation, which address competition against firms like Google LLC, Twitter Inc., and Snap Inc. (Snapchat). As a global online technology company, Facebook Inc. uses its corporate culture to build competitive advantage and highly capable human resources. The company must keep adapting its cultural characteristics to continue its effectiveness in addressing cultural challenges linked to online market dynamics.

Facebook’s organizational culture emphasizes creativity and improvement. This corporate culture facilitates innovation, which is essential in the social media business, especially as the company diversifies outside its social networking website and apps. Facebook Inc.’s generic strategy and intensive strategies are developed with consideration for cultural support for strategic management and implementation.

Facebook’s Organizational Culture & Its Features

Facebook Inc. describes its corporate culture as a hacker culture, which pushes employees to strive for improvement. Such improvement focuses on Facebook’s mission and vision statements. The company applies its organizational culture as a tool for supporting business resilience and competitiveness. For example, through continuous improvement and iteration in the “hacker way,” the company supports social media and online advertising service enhancement. Also, Facebook Inc.’s organizational structure affects the company’s workforce development. Human resources are developed and maintained through training that ensures talent and skills for the company’s aims in creativity and innovation for its social media business. The following characteristics are the most notable in Facebook’s organizational culture:

  1. Creative problem solving and decision-making
  2. Boldness
  3. Openness
  4. Speed
  5. Continuous improvement

Creative Problem Solving and Decision-Making. Facebook Inc. values creative problem solving and decision-making, which are embodied in the company’s organizational culture. This corporate cultural characteristic pertains to the ability of employees to generate unusual ideas that enhance the company’s social networking and related offerings. Rewards are provided through recognition, incentives and other forms that motivate workers to be more creative in contributing to the business. Such rewards help address Facebook Inc.’s corporate social responsibilities to its stakeholders, particularly its employees. Through this organizational cultural characteristic, the company maintains competitive edge against other firms in the international market, especially other social media companies that offer online advertising services. Also, business competitiveness is partly achieved based on the technological trends enumerated in the PESTEL/PESTLE analysis of Facebook Inc.

Boldness. Facebook’s organizational culture facilitates boldness in employees’ activities. This cultural feature aims to maximize the company’s flexibility in addressing business issues. For example, the corporate culture encourages workers to tackle issues right away, instead of waiting for such issues to escalate to senior management. The company benefits from this cultural characteristic in terms of minimizing the negative effects of problems encountered in the social media business.

Openness. Openness significantly influences Facebook’s corporate culture. This cultural feature highlights the importance of effective and efficient internal communications. For example, the company has systems to facilitate the dissemination of information critical to solving problems. In addition, Facebook’s organizational culture facilitates openness in terms of minimizing restrictions on employees’ activities. For instance, the company empowers workers to focus on the problems that they think are most important or relevant to the business. This characteristic of the corporate culture supports employees’ problem solving abilities to enhance the company’s social networking and online advertising services.

Speed. Facebook Inc. has the ability to easily respond to trends and changes in users’ preferences. This ability is partly based on employees’ speed in responding to problems in the social media business. Such speed is a significant feature of Facebook’s organizational culture. The company believes that it is essential that its human resources rapidly react to new needs in the multinational market. This corporate cultural characteristic is implemented through the use of small teams. Small teams are highly flexible and can move fast to support rapid product development processes.

Continuous Improvement. Facebook Inc. has an organizational culture that facilitates continuous improvement. The company adheres to the principle that improvement is a never-ending process. This cultural feature encourages its small teams to continuously iterate products. This cultural feature provides opportunities for the company to regularly evaluate its social networking website, mobile apps, and related products, and supports the business strengths shown in the SWOT analysis of Facebook Inc.

Facebook Inc.’s Corporate Culture: Advantages & Disadvantages

Facebook’s status as one of the world’s biggest social media businesses is partly founded on the company’s organizational culture, which is known as a hacker culture. An advantage of this corporate culture is its support for flexibility, especially in rapidly addressing issues and problems in the social media business. Another advantage is that the culture facilitates Facebook Inc.’s continuous improvement essential in the context of online social networking. For example, continuous improvement helps develop solutions to online security issues arising from technological advances and changes to the Internet.

A possible disadvantage of Facebook’s organizational culture is the difficulty in strictly implementing new mandates that impose limits on employees’ activities. This is so because the company’s workers are accustomed to a corporate culture where they are empowered to flexibly do their jobs. Such empowerment supports continuous improvement. Facebook Inc. can address this disadvantage through management initiatives that improve strategic implementation and internal communication effectiveness.

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