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Keeping Google Googley Abridged Case Solution

Solution Id Length Case Author Case Publisher
1023 1417 Words (4 Pages) Boris Groysberg, David A. Thomas, Alison Berkley Wagonfeld Harvard Business School : 409099
This solution includes: A Word File A Word File

Google has developed a unique business model by developing and following practices, which one might tag as “unusual”. Interestingly, the company’s unusual practices are perfectly aligned with its business model as each minuscule factor supports it. Google’s flat hierarchy supports quick decision making, which ultimately speeds up the company’s routine operations. However, the company’s unusual practices have its own side-effects, as well. There are four side effects, bureaucracy, and maintenance of rapid decision making, ensuring high visibility and ensuring global consistency. In order to tackle these problems, the company needs to revise its human resources management policies regarding the screening process so that the company does not lose its unique regional perspective. Lastly, the company needs to take small measures, like increased social gatherings, for maintaining a global consistency.

Following questions are answered in this case study solution

  1. What is unusual about Google? What practices support the Google business model?

  2. What are some of the challenges that Google is facing at the end of the case? How have these challenges changed since then?

  3. What else can Google do to ensure that it remains an entrepreneurial place?

  4. ​​What other steps can Google take to keep Google “Google” to avoid bureaucracy and maintain rapid decision making and international consistency? Please devise an action plan. Be specific.

Case Analysis for Keeping Google Googley Abridged

1. What is unusual about Google? What practices support the Google business model?

There are a number of things that one might tag as unusual as they are not normally found in informal organizations. The company has a flat hierarchy, and it does not believe in job titles, and other formal things found in normal organizations. No one knows who the boss is, in a given project, and most of the employees think that their managers work for them instead of vice versa. It has based its organizational hierarchy on projects, for which matrix structure is deemed the best one.

These unusual practices support Google’s business model, which is based on two main things innovation and creativity. Flat and matrix structure hinders bureaucracy, which ultimately fastens the decision-making process. Secondly, no one knows who the boss is this encourages employees to put forward their ideas in a confident manner. Most importantly, successful ideas are rewarded in both ways, intrinsic and extrinsic. On the other hand, bad ideas are just simply slipped under the rug and there are no negative consequences of giving a bad idea.

Managers mentor their subordinates instead of managing them. They do not have to go through the hassle of motivating them as Googlers are self-motivated and consider themselves as self-sufficient. Most importantly, Google uses a proactive approach in making decisions rather than the reactive approach. This does not only help Google in averting disaster, but it also helps the company in achieving a high organizational growth rate.

Lastly, the unusual aspects of Google add up to its core competencies as it supports the company’s business model. The alignment of the business model with the company’s practices ensures that the company is on its designated path to growth and market leadership. Moreover, it also helps the company in avoiding internal conflicts. The aforesaid practices directly support Google’s business model in a positive and healthy manner.

2. What are some of the challenges that Google is facing at the end of the case? How have these challenges changed since then?

The promotion of innovation and creativity at Google has, no doubt, promoted an entrepreneurial culture within the organization, but it also has brought in some challenges along with it. The first main problem that the company faces is its size and manageability. The company’s rapid expansion demands an increased number of employees along with a global presence. For instance, an employee is working on his own project in California; whereas, another employee, in India, is also working on a similar project. The company needs to stop this reinvention of the wheel circle. The company developed a database for employees’ projects from which they can see who is working on which project.

The second main problem that the company faces is collaborative and fast decision making. Due to the increased size of the company, more employees have been added to the Google family. The company has rigid rules when it comes to collaborative and consensual decision making. Numbers of executives have been added due to increased company size. Now, there are more than 20 executives who have to be convinced in a meeting room in order to reach consensual decisions, unlike before when the company’s size was small.

The third main problem that the company faces is about employees’ visibility. There are more than 17000 employees working for Google. These employees are dispersed globally. Apart from the aforesaid idea redundancy problems, employees do not know whom to contact in case of a problem, which is interlinked with another department. If no one is the boss of Google, then everyone considers himself as a boss. Interaction is very important for creativity and innovation. The company started social gathering in which employees can interact with each other. Google’s culture is more of an individualistic culture than a collectivistic culture. This gives rise to a similar problem, the fourth main problem; the company has to maintain this entrepreneurial culture in its foreign offices as well while keeping intact region’s unique perspective.

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