Google is the most admired company in the USA. It was ranked among the best companies to work for in the World in 2008. Google is admired by most workers because it has cross-functional organization structure which it has kept for many years. This structure is very important because it promotes innovation and creativity which is an important aspect of motivating workers (Alvesson, 2012). Google Company was founded in 1998 and it has been working on the motto Dont be evil a moral slogan which ensures that employees are accountable to management. For Google to become innovative it must maintain its accountability spirit which allows them to spend most of their time on daily operations and the rest designated to new and other projects.
Google has a matrix organization structure with some form of flatness. Its structure is divided into three different features namely function-based definition, product based definitions and flatness. The employees of Google are grouped based on functions. The employees that perform the same function are required to work together because they are expected to achieve the same goal (Claver-Cortes & Molina-Azorin, 2012). The employees working under sales operations work together while engineering and design department also work under the same department. Furthermore, Google also uses a product as a way of grouping workers. Google ensure that employees that produce product such as Nexus devices work separately from the employees that produce iPhones. The purpose of this is to increase specialization and also to enhance accountability. Finally, Google has flat structures which allow employees to report directly to executives without going through middle management.
In Google, there are very few layers of management because its chain of command only covers three or two people. It structure tends to be more organic. All the leaders of Google participate in the same project. All the employees of Google are allowed to participate in the decision-making process and the idea of every employee is accepted by the organization thus promoting innovation (Finley, 2014). Because Google has fewer layers of management, there is effective coordination and communication between different employees. This structure of also ensures that it does not pay middle-level management thus reduce its operating cost.
Google has a specific management guideline, (the 70-20-10 rule and it also allows its employees to be risk takers. The top management gives other workers and managers to work close to each other but not to follow the chain of command. The employees of Google are allowed to respond directly to executives without reporting to middle management first and this is important in motivating workers and creates strong cohesive teamwork that can achieve its goals (Henricks, 2005). The executives, managers, and employees of Google are not restricted to communicate to each other. This helps the employees to gain enthusiasm that they contribute towards the company affairs.
In Google, the executives do not set goals for other employees to follow but it supports the participation of other workers in setting objectives. They also support them in meeting the employees meet their objectives which they set themselves (Baker, 2015). The top management does not impose objectives to be met on employees but it allows them to set their own and only receive support from them (Jacobides, 2007). Google observes managers as great leaders who inspire followers and empower them to achieve more. It controls the responsibilities of workers in the same manner as the Federal Government. It works through a series of checks and balances to allow it to adjust to certain issues that may prevent it from achieving its objectives. The employees are given the obligation to set and assess their own goals quarterly. In order to foster a good relationship between employees and executives, the management only makes suggestions on metrics that workers use to measure their progress toward their goals. Workers, therefore, are solely responsible for using metrics which they set themselves but they are only allowed to take suggestions of management only if they choose to (Fried, 2011). The supervisors represent managers and are given the opportunity to ensure that workers achieve their personal goals. This makes them see them as leaders, not managers as they use their own benchmarks to evaluate their performance.
The effect of cross-functional organization structure in Google is very great. This is because it allows Google leadership to alter the parameters of their jobs wherever they desire (Lim and Sambrook, 2010). It encourages the workers to be their own leaders, assesses their work performance and comes with an appropriate way to execute their functions. It usually requires its workers to be very innovative and creative in their actions. They must have an open discussion on the organization goals and course of actions (Ghiselli and Jacob, 2012). This structure ensures that it has corporate transparency because its workers are free to witness and participate in leadership roles (Thareja, 2007). There is no employee who is restricted to managerial meetings because it understands that every worker should have a stake in the affairs of the company. This makes them feel responsible for any achievement gained by the company at the end of every financial year.
Alvesson, M. (2012). Understanding organizational culture. Sage.
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Ghiselli, Edwin E.; Siegel, Jacob P. (December 1, 1972). "Leadership and Managerial Success in Tall and Flat Organization Structures". Personnel Psychology. 25 (4)
Fried, Jason (2011). "Why I Run a Flat Company". Inc. Retrieved 1 Sep 2013.
Finley, K (2014). "Why Workers Can Suffer in Bossless Companies Like GitHub". Wired. Retrieved13 July 2014.
Baker, Suzanne J. (2015). "Exploration of Equality and Processes of Non-Hierarchical Groups." Journal of Organisational Transformation & Social Change 12, no. 2: 138-158. Business Source Complete, EBSCOhost (accessed November 3, 2015).
Henricks, M. (2005). Falling Flat?. Entrepreneur, 33(1), 69-70.
Jacobites., M. G. (2007). The inherent limits of organizational structure and the unfulfilled role of hierarchy: Lessons from a near-war. Organization Science, 18, 3, 455-477.
Lim, M., G. Griffiths, and S. Sambrook. (2010). The organizational structure for the twenty-first century. Presented the annual meeting of The Institute for Operations Research and The Management Sciences, Austin.
Thareja P. (2007). A Total Quality Organisation thru'People Each One is Capable. Available at:http://www.foundry-planet.com
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