The culture within an organisation significantly assists managers with understanding the hidden, intricate aspects of organisational life. Organisational culture impacts creativity, for example, through socialisation, meanings and principles, which regulates behaviour and are created precisely through structures, guidelines and practices. Robbins (as cited in Martins and Terblanche, 1996) emphasises that “A strong culture provides shared values that ensure that everyone in the organisation is on the same track”. Although several leaders are unaware of the substantial influence culture can have, organisational culture can drastically impact the performance and productivity of a business and its employees. This perception is communicated throughout the American multinational technology company, Google. Noviantoro’s (2014) views that “Google is one of the few companies that successfully combine technological innovation with a strong organizational culture.” The predominant factors which brilliantly outline Google’s corporate culture is an open culture, the freedom of employees and support mechanisms which will be discussed with the support of artefacts and symbols, recognising the values and assumptions the organisation signifies.
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I will first highlight the influence of an open culture with employees within the successful American multinational technology company, Google, and ways in which it significantly supports leaders with understanding the hidden, intricate aspects of organisational life. The culture of openness specifies the communication among Google employees, and it’s the organisation’s goal to stimulate openness to influence the dissemination of essential knowledge which can additionally support innovation. The authors, Martins and Terblanche (2003) communicate “values like flexibility, freedom and cooperative teamwork will promote creativity and innovation.” Google maintains a comfortable and relaxing atmosphere where employees can converse and distribute ideas with each other. Martin and Terblanche (2003) suggest that “keeping knowledge and skills up to date and learning creative thinking skills, a learning culture can be created and maintained.”
This company is an extraordinary model that uses observable artefacts to express its organisational culture and is revealed through the architecture and landscape of the corporation's campus. Rudani (2013, p.761) states “Googlers sharing cubes, yurts and huddle room-and very few solo offices” promoting entrepreneurial group discussions, motivating the creativity and innovation of its employees. Guiso (2015) discusses that “One of the functions of stating specific corporate values is to attract employees with a similar value system.” For instance, some core values of Google particularly focus on openness expressing, “You don’t need to be at your desk to need an answer” and “There’s always more information out there.” and as a result, implying that a corporate value like diversity in people, is of greatest importance in the selection of creative and innovative people.
Additionally, it is truly evident that the culture within an organisation considerably supports leaders with understanding the concealed, complex aspects of organisational life. Throughout the multinational establishment, Google, another predominant characteristic of culture involves the freedom of its employees. According to Judge et al (as cited in Martin and Terblanche, 2003) “A culture in which too many management controls are applied will inhibit risk-taking and consequently creativity and innovation.” Chong and Ma (as cited in Jeong, 2017) demonstrate
“A non-controlling supervision style enables employees to feel safe and free to pursue new insights by granting autonomy and encouraging change. Thus, it is likely to facilitate employee creativity.”
However, at Google, the employees are provided with an extensive array of benefits including free food, onsite childcare facilities, healthcare services, sports facilities and several holidays and leave days ensuring the employees are fulfilled and loyal to the company.
It is observable that Google has always focused on their workers being happy by fulfilling all their needs and to illustrate this, Tran (2017) also discusses that “Google is quite open in these artefacts by showing respect for the uniform and national culture of each staff individually and giving them the right to wear traditional clothes.” Thus, having freedom as a core value, Arad et al (as cited in Martin and Terblanche, 2003) states
“revealed that the degree to which employees have freedom and authority to participate in decision making in solving problems determines the level of empowerment, which is positively related to the level of creativity and innovation in an organisation.”
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Moreover, it is conveyed that the culture within an organisation substantially supports managers with understanding the hidden, complex aspects of organisational life and at the technology establishment, Google, this is effectively communicated through the intricate culture of support mechanisms. Support mechanisms are essential and should be present in the culture of an organisation to generate an atmosphere that will stimulate creativity and innovation. Shattow (as cited in Martin and Terblanche, 2003) communicates “An organisational culture that promotes creativity and innovation should allow employees time to think creatively and experiment.” Google effectively incorporates this in their organisation through
“paying attention to how employees work and helping them correct mistakes is critical. Instead of pointing out the damage and blaming a person who caused the mistake, the company would be interested in what the cause of the problem was and how to fix it as quickly and efficiently as possible.” (Tran, 2017)
Therefore, it is understood that as a culture, if breakthroughs want to be achieved in the workplace, experimentation is needed and failure is inevitable. Everyone has the right to make mistakes as it creates an opportunity to overcome failure. In summary, understanding the culture within an organisation truly helps managers with overcoming the hidden, intricate aspects of organisational life.
In the final analysis, it has been profoundly conveyed that the culture within an organisation assists managers understand the hidden, complex aspects of organisational life and this is successfully manifested at the American multinational technology company, Google, through the extensive range of cultures of openness, freedom of their employees and support mechanisms. Warrick (2017) demonstrates that “culture can have a significant influence on performance, morale, job satisfaction, employee engagement and loyalty, employee attitudes and motivation, turnover, commitment to the organization, and efforts to attract and retain talented employees.” Hence, Shein (2004) expresses “the bottom line for managers is that if they are not aware of the cultures in which they are surrounded and involved in, those cultures will manage them.”
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- Warrick, D. D. (2017). What leaders need to know about organizational culture. Business horizons, 60(3), 395-404.
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