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Google Inc. was found by Larry Page and Sergey Brin when they were studying PhD courses at Stanford University in 1996. They focused on creating unique search engine differing from traditional search engine. Even though Google Inc. succeed in the technology, it cannot have substantial revenue. In order to get profile, Google had organizational transforming since 1996, and now it is a trade company. Nowadays, company's success is looking for employees not only with technical smarts but also emotional intelligence and knowledge of management theory (McShane et al. 2010). This is a report on researching a theoretical analysis of Google from the first two discussion questions. To begin with the Google's success, this report will evaluate it from different aspects of a motivational theory. Secondly, Google's organizational values will be revealed from its hiring practices and job design principles, which the author will estimate their contribution to Google's success.
Critical and Theoretical Analysis
Q1. From a motivational theory perspective, what seems to explain Google's success?
2.1 Motivational theory perspective
'Motivation refers to the forces within a person that affect his or her direction, intensity and persistence of voluntary behaviour' (McShane et al. 2010, p. 168). Sell and Cleal (2011) analyse that it is vital for each company or management to know the motivational theory before operated the company, which is apparent used in Google's success.
During the developing of Google Inc., Page and Brin's success was following 'Goal-setting theory that is the process of motivating employees and clarifying their role perceptions by establishing performance objectives' (McShane et al. 2010, p. 181). To begin with Page and Brin established their dream; they were passionate about their research that focused on creating unique internet search engine. Gardner (2011) explains that goal-setting is a direction for observing behaviours of employees. Page and Brin set a specific goal-creating unique internet search engine, also from Google's top ten reasons that innovation is our bloodline; Relevant goal-their similar background and knowledge (Brin is the son of mathematics professor and is good at mathematics and computer science; Page is the son of computer science professor and loves computer as well) support chance to create new engine; Challenging goal-transforming Google into a sustainable business enterprise.
Although they were geniuses at computer technology, they were lack knowledge of handling the organizational and operational issues in a sustainable company at all; Latham and Piccolo (2012) describe participative goal-recruiting Eric Schmidt. Page and Brin respects his decision while transforming the company into a self-sustaining business. Even company established successfully, these two people still prefer to give their employees' excitement and opportunities in the company not change organizational culture; moreover there is a good feedback from Google's goal-setting. 'From a motivational perspective, an assigned goal is as effective as one that is set participative provided that the purpose or rationale for the goal is given' (Locke & Latham, 2002).
Hayibor (2012) emphasizes that high motivation and good performance based on the equity environment and workplace (McShane et al. 2010, p. 181). In the Google's success, it provides a family-friendly environment and a range of benefits to appeal to employees that make employees feeling fair in workplace. Moreover, free lunches are provided to all employees by Google Inc. Therefore, every employee feel firm focusing on him/her and outcome always gets feedback from company.
Vroom's Expectancy Theory
Tien (2000) states Vroom's Expectancy Theory is generally one of most normally used theories of motivation in the workplace. The use of expectancy theory is to explain Google's success from employee performance and company's environment. The key perspective of expectancy theory is to convey a profound belief 'employees are capable of performing the job successfully; good performance will result in valued outcomes and expected value of outcomes resulting from desired performance' (McShane et al. 2010, p. 180). Google provides equal opportunities in a pleasant environment, according to Google insiders, the management and leadership style is democratic leadership style. Employees will know their abilities appreciated by the company. In addition, employees could focus on their interesting challenges instead of being worried about their daily trifles in the company because free lunches are provided to employees in Google. Although it is a small thing, it means the great importance to the staff's motivation and job satisfaction of Google's success. This illustrates Google's success from expectancy theory not only focus on Eâ†’P, Pâ†’O or outcome valences.
'Individual's behavior is basically goal oriented and individuals' needs or drives differ' (Ifedili 2012, p. 80). Maslow propounded his theory on the hierarchy of needs, which could illustrate the beginning of Google's establish. Other researcher like David McClelland has focused separately on such factors as achievement, affiliation or power.
Discovering argued about everything in internet search engine, they were sensing what search engine users wanted. So Page and Brin created unique internet search engine by using their passion on computer science and unique ability-geniuses at computer technology, they satisfied not only themselves but also internet users the level of 'self-actual self-actualization which is the need for self fulfillment and to make use of the most unique abilities' (Ifedili 2012, p. 80).
In addition, the importance of Google's success is the self-esteem that is the need for recognition and respect. For instance, without Eric Schmidt, Google Inc. would not have success during transforming. Because of receiving respects from those two young boys (Page and Brin), Eric satisfied reorganization and decision making in Google, he would like to try his best to manage and operate company and focused on transforming Google into a sustainable business enterprise, preserving the company's culture.
Three needs theory
According to 'McClelland's theory of need' (cited in McShane et al. 2010, p. 174) and Google case study, creating unique internet engine and transforming Google into a self-sustaining business were a need for achievement. However, Page and Brin do not want to control others, and they provide a family-friendly environment and numerous and opportunities to employees. Therefore, Page and Brin would like to follow the need for affiliation, which desire to seek approval from others. It is a main reason of pleasant environment and high apply requires every day on Google's success.
Q2. What do Google's hiring practices and job design principles reveal about its organizational values? Evaluate their contribution to Google's success?
2.2 Being the one of the fastest and useful search engines in the world, Google is also famous for its interesting outstanding corporate organizational values. These values can be reflected through its hiring practices and job design principle.
2.2.1 Hiring practise
Hiring practise is referred as hiring policies an organization applied in hiring process in order to select staff lined with enterprise's value. The Google hiring process is designed to hire the most talented, creative, and articulate people in the world who will be the best fit for Google. Google would rather leave a job unfilled than hire a sub-optimal candidate. In interview, Google is not only seeking for people with variety of sill and ability, but also pay attentions to interviewees' innovation and creation. As they post on recruitment Site, they what candidates show 'how you would tackle the problem presented-do not get hung up on nailing the "right" answer' (Google Job n.d.). The purpose of this is to motivate employee in future. McShane (2010) explains employees could be motivated by required skill and knowledge, after that they can handle more challenging works (McShane et al.).
In decision section, Google takes feedback both from multiple and independent committees of 'Googlers'. That clarifies the democracy and proclaims an atmosphere of equality among Google both on Internet and reality.
2.2.2 Job design
Not only in hiring process, but also in job design, the principle also indicates Google's unique organizational values. As motivator-hygiene theory, introduced by Herzberh in 1950s (cited in McShane et al. 2010) indicates lower order needs only can prevent employee from dissatisfaction, what motivate staff are fulfil growth and esteem needs (McShane et al. 2010). As we all know, 'Googlers'-the Google's employees, who have enviable welfare including free lunches, free drinks and desserts; even after employee dead, the relatives will get parts of salary within 10 years (Pepitone 2012). It is clear that Google makes effort to ensure employees' lower order condition in order to make employees focus on more important things and work in good conditions.
As a successful firm, one of its organizational values is that Google may be a typical example that does not fully compliance with job specialisation. Job specialisation says 'the most effective companies have detailed procedures and work practices developed by engineers, enforced by supervisors and executed by employees' (McShane et al. 2010, p. 216). But in Google Inc., innovation and creation are more important than effectiveness, which is also one of 'Things we know to be true' announced by Google Company (n.d.). As the declaration on Google's website, 'There is an emphasis on team achievements and pride in individual accomplishments that contribute to our overall success' (Google Company n.d.). That explains Google attaches great importance to employee's personal creative personal abilities, rather than treating employees as a small part of the process. Encouraging individual accomplishment motivates employees while embodies the spirit of corporate focusing on innovation.
By offering casual working atmosphere that to be Google's value, one famous instance is Google allowing employee speeding 20% of their working time in other items, Google gives high level of autonomy on jobs that make employees determining their own work scheduling freely and indecently (Scott Berkun 2008). This is also can be seen as a job rotation method which is used to increase the motivational potential of jobs. 'Job rotation is referred as the practice of moving employees from one job to another' (McShane et al. 2010, p. 219). In that free 20% free time in work, employee can be a musician or a physicist doing their own researches. We can find lots of such videos on YouTube that recorded googler doing astoundingly performances. Google concludes these as 'You can be serious without a suitâ€¦.. New ideas emerge in a café line, at a team meeting or at the gym' (Google Company n.d.).
'Another core job characteristic that motivated employees is Task significance. It is identified as the degree to which the job affects the organisation or large society' (McShane et al. 2010, p. 218). As a global company, Google is trying to make the employees feel they are contributing to making the world a better which is put in first place of company's culture. The best user experience is Google's seeking. Moreover, Google Company (n.d.) indicates its organizational values that Google would rather considering responsibility of serving customers than making profits to company.
In conclusion, these hiring practices and job design principles expose its organizational values. At the same time, these ensure Google hiring optimal employees in order to keep firm in sustainable development.