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Google has its origin from a research project that was conducted by Sergey Brin and Larry Page. These two were both PhD students in California at the Stanford University. During this time, other conventional search engines were ranking results by counting the number of times the search word appeared on the page. These two decided to theorize about a better system that could analyze the relationship between these websites. They referred to this as Page Rank and in this, the number of pages and the importance of the pages could determine the relevance of the website. Since a smaller search engine was already exploring such a similar strategy, Brin and Page nicknamed their new engine BackRub because their system estimated the importance of a site by checking the backlinks. They later changed the name to Google which was originally a miss spell of the world googol meaning a one that is accompanied by 100 zeros. This name was meant to show that the engine could handle so much information (Lowe, 2009).
Google originally ran with the domain googl.stanford.edu under the Stanford University website. On September 15, 1997, the domain google.com was later registered and then followed with the incorporation of the company on the 4th of September 1998 at a garage owned by their friend in Menlo Park California. According to Girard (2009), the company started growing and in 1999, it moved to new offices in Palo Alto, California which is home to many other technology startups. In the following year the two owners initiated a search engine that was funded by advertisements.
This company has acquired various other companies since 2001 with the main focus being on small venture capital companies. Such companies include, Keyhole Inc, YouTube, DoubleClick, GrandCentral and Aardvark which was the latest acquisition. According to Lowe (2009), the highest percentage of the company's revenue is derived from advertising programs. In 2006, Google reported $10.492 billion as the total advertisement revenue while the licensing revenue was only $112 million. The most popular company service is the web search engine. Research has shown that, Google search engine is the most dominant engine in the United States market and holds 65.6% market share.
Leadership and Management
Management is the process of coordinating resources and people to achieve the organizations goals and objectives. Leadership and Management are two notions which are often interchangeably used. In real sense these words describe two different concepts. Leadership is one among the many assets that a good manager must possess. The manager's main aim is to maximize the organization's output through implementation of his administrative roles. To achieve this, mangers must perform the tasks of staffing, organization, planning, directing and controlling every activity of the company (Rothwell & Kazanas, 1999). To be an effective leader, a manager needs formal authority and should act as a role model to the junior staff. Google's leadership poses management as an exciting as well as a rewarding profession. The company could employ various specialized managers to take charge of various departments within the company like finance, marketing and operations, depending on the size of the company. Google also include various managers and their deputies at different levels within the firm.
In some circumstances, leadership is not necessarily required: For instance, when the employees are self motivated, they may not require what a single leader would even though we find leaders dominating. This shows how a leader is not really essential but is just an asset. While leaders think radically, mangers think incredibly. In other words, the leaders do the right thing while mangers do things right. It therefore stands out that managers' actions go by the stipulation in the book and follow the policies of the company. Leaders on the other hand use their own intuition which in most cases is of the highest benefit to the company (Pride, Hughes & Kapoor, 2009).
Leadership is concerned with reshaping and/or building the company. This can be achieved through the use of the skill of persuasion to advance the ideas and vision of possibilities regardless of what position you hold. On the other hand, management involves filling out the organization prescribed. One is forced to adapt to certain behavior and attitude according to the kind of position he occupies. According to Lowe (2009), the manager tends to be protective of information, position and knowledge. This is done to make sure that no situation goes out of their control.
Role of managers and leaders in creating a healthy organizational culture
The company's organization culture plays a major role in its success. Following this, Google has been able to tap the best expertise in the market. In fact, Google was among the few companies which successfully blended organizational culture and technological innovation. Even though the company has grown so much since its beginning, the employees and the mangers still maintain the feeling of a small company: Almost everyone eats in the company offices during lunch time while sitting on any table that may be vacant and enjoy communicating with Googlers belonging to other teams. The company's commitment to success depends on every employee being comfortable while sharing out opinions and ideas (Schein, 2004).
Google's work environment is built with pillars of creativity, innovation and ideas. The Google complex is a clear indication of so much money spent but in a good way. In other words, money is spent to make more money. The company has 11 free gourmet cafes which offer all the employees free meals. Employees who are well fed will always work better. This might not be employed by every company but its one way of creating a better working environment within the company. All the employees will be sure of having a meal and therefore won't worry of where to get their next meal whenever they are broke (Rothwell & Kazanas, 1999).
Every idea from employees gets an ear. In the same breath, employees are encouraged to make contributions of business ideas may it be non-tech or tech ideas. This ranges from engineers and other employees. Whenever an idea is raised, every one listens, considers and if the idea makes sense, then it is implemented. The management considers everyone's ideas without discrimination. The leaders and mangers therefore use the information elements in support of the decision making which their employees make in order to improve the safety and create healthy working conditions within the company. According to Hierling et al. (2008), they should also ensure that the resources are provided to activities that will provide great returns and provided the highest value to its customers.
Management functions counts to four with the first being planning. The company has the main goal of attaining the bare minimum with the greatest rate of financial returns. In planning, the company first analyzes the technological needs of each employee within the organization. This may include equipment like laptops, desk side printers and other various equipment. The number of clients that the company serves determines the number of support staff or employees the company will have to employ (Schein, 2004). Planning therefore makes sure that the staff is provided with the required equipment to work properly. It also ensures that there is enough staff to handle the kind of work that the company engages in so that no one is overworked. This boosts the morale of the employees because they won't be straining but will however work comfortably. Planning is therefore the logical thinking of what you ought to do to achieve the family objectives.
Organization forms the second management function. This is the process by which managers use to establish a good working relationship between the company's employees. This is in an effort to meet the targets of the organization. Understanding how many employees are needed could be very important for a company. This is why Google Company makes sure that it employs enough workers to take care of the growing need of the search engine (Hierling et al., 2008). The company has various offices in different countries of the world and this helps in bringing the management closer to its customers. A manager should understand the strengths and weaknesses of all his employees if he is to make proper organization. Training is also done to improve the knowledge of employees. Through this process, the management shall establish and maintain relationships, determine the internal organizational structure, and allocate necessary resources required by the company.
Directing is the third function of management. This one helps the management to supervise staff's actions. The staff will therefore be able to achieve the goals of the company as well as accomplishing their personal goals and/or career goals. The only way by which these goals can be powered is by motivation of the employees. In Google Company, the employees are not followed in every action they undertake (Schein, 2004). The employees' knowledge and understanding of what is expected from them creates self drive. There is also good working relationship between the management and the junior employees to an extent that, they all eat within the company's offices and chart with one another without fear. Moreover, you don't have to wear official clothing while going to office. The employees come to work in jeans and t-shirts but still produce the best work. This culture provides a lot of motivation for the company's employees.
Control is the last management function. It dictates the means to the achievement of business goals and sets forth performance standards for the organization. It also includes the evaluation and reporting of the real job performance. According to Rothwell & Kazanas (1999), the managers need to pay great attention to the cost versus the organization performance. For instance if one of the company's target for the coming two months is to achieve a 6% shoot in sales by 6% , the company's efforts will be geared towards making this projection a reality.
This will give a clue of what should be done for the remaining one month. An effective manager should share this information with other employees because the attainment of the goal will need the participation of every member. This builds confidence and trust on the employees part.
According to Pride, Hughes & Kapoor (2009), the management should make sure that it doesn't lower the standards so as to solve the performance problems. They should instead address directly the departments or employees having problems.
Since the company is a collection of many people, cooperation is a must if you are to attain the company's objectives. Following this understanding, working in teams is crucial and the company focuses on building better and stronger teams as they assist in employee understanding among themselves and the leadership as well. Cooperation can only come about when there is a healthy organizational climate. Fun activities like sports can be used since they will strengthen the employee's spirits together with the management staff. The closer interaction between the leaders and the employees will erase any traces of fear that might exist and rejuvenate the employees working spirit.
The leadership can also improve the organizational culture by establishing an unbiased, impartial and transparent conflict resolution structure. Whenever the employees feel they are being treated equally, they will most likely accept their mistakes and improve on their working skills. It's needless to say that such treatment makes them feel at home and indebted to the company and this will go along way in improving the working environment.