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Organizational Design and Structure at Google INC.

The organization structure at Google is highly decentralized, which makes sense considering the large size of the organization. The decision making process is spread across a number of individuals and outlets, with some of these individuals being located miles away. This gives the management the time and opportunity to concentrate on important tasks as other duties are delegated to lower level managers. This structure also is empowering as the decision making process is decentralized to non top management employees and this creates a sense of ownership, is a source of employee motivation and this effectively encourages increased productivity.

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Through the decentralized organizational structure, employees across the board are involved in the organization and are more aware of what is happening within their organization. This means that they are better informed about their organization and are better placed to assist customers. When a workforce is empowered, it is better placed to act and respond to challenges and opportunities. In an organization like Google, the pressure to respond to changes and adjust to technological advancements is critical if the organization is to maintain cutting edge competition.

While at a Stanford University dorm room, Sergey Brin and Larry Page developed a simple online search engine. They had not way of knowing that this project was set out to become one of the world’s most profitable businesses. Google is the world’s largest search engine and it main objective is to organized the world’s information in such a way that it is universally useful and acceptable. Within a fraction of a second, this free service avails millions of results to the user (Google, 2008).

Google Inc prides in offering the ultimate search experience. As co-founder Larry Page puts it, Google want to offer a search engine that “understands exactly what you mean and gives you back exactly what you want.” It is to this effect that Google Inc. strives to be innovative by breaking away from pre-determined technology models. It is for this reason that PageRank technology was implemented as an infrastructure upgrade measures, effectively altering the way internet searches are conducted. It is for this reason that relevant employees were recruited as a way of remaining competitive and industry relevant (Google Inc., 2008).

The organizations structure at Google Inc. encourages diversity and inclusion as a culture. Despite operating in countries across the globe, Google has embraced different languages and traditions. At Google, the best talent is recruited, irrespective of their past experiences.

Google prides itself at offering a positive and invigorating working environment. Furthermore, the employees are provided with especially designed and personally customized compensation packages that make each individual working at Google feel special. The culture at Google governs the projects and recruitment process and this has been central to the success that has been recorded at Google Inc. With technological advantages changing the face of business with each passing day, it is important that the best in the market are maintain for the sake of the organization’s excellence (Google, 2008).

Even though the searches are availed at no cost to the user, the company registers staggering profits. This are profits are primarily from advertising and search services. Because Google offers a free service for conducting searches, there is high volume traffic, thus presenting the ideal avenue for the income generating activities. These services have evolved so much so that they are now complementary networks by their own. Google AdWords works by redirecting relevant ads in certain directions and as long as a click is made on an advert, Google gets a certain percentage (Google, 2008).

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The CEO of Google Inc. is Eric Schmidt and he is also the Chairman of the Board. The two founders, Page and Brin are he presidents and are in charge od products and technology respectively. Laszlo Book is the vice president and he is in charge of People operations.

After this level, there are a number of senior vice presidents who oversee critical components of the company. The Board of Directors at Google Inc. established the Corporate Governance guidelines as a way of ensuring that the Stakeholders’ interests were protected. The intension of guidelines was to provide a forum that allowed the Board to operate without conforming to the legal restriction of terms and conditions.

At Google Inc., organic structure is applied. This is characterized by the joint specialization that brings together employees in the pursuit of common goals. Because of the vast nature of the organization, the decision making process sis decentralized, with no predetermined authority over task delegation bestowed on any employee. This creates a sense of handwork among the employees.

Communication is lateral, as opposed to vertical communication processes. The informal setting at Google Inc. encourages verbal communication, face to face interaction and flexible working schedules. The decentralized organizational structure makes is ideal for Google Inc. because it is a very large organization, with units across the globe and millions of users access its services every second.

Personally, the matrix of project based form of organization best describes the organizational structure that I would be best suited for. This is because accountability and order best characterizes operations as the networked structure enable individuals to work where they are best suited to function. Individuals from different sections of the organization are selected to take part in an upcoming project. This assembled team is expected to last for the duration of the project after which it is disbanded.

Because emphasis is placed in project teams, with individuals of similar skills being pooled together, the outcome is more often than not excellent because of specialization. Individuals are therefore charged with specific roles and are expected to report to both their project and line managers. This approach also works for me as the project managers are in touch with the teams and the custodians of the budget and deadline expectations.

The major selling point for this form of structure is that team work is encouraged as the success of any given project is entirely dependant on the cohesion of the team. Furthermore, there is specialization on given projects, which allows for increased knowledge and idea exchange, professional development and careers advancement, which ensures that the staff is sufficiently motivated. This appeals to me because I will be able to function at my optimum and explore my dynamic and creative aspects. Even though the biggest challenge presented by this structure is that employees are likely to be torn over who they are loyal to, I will be able to function as I work best as a member of a team.

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Reflection Questions

An organization’s structure should enhance its ability to be competitive in its industry. In thinking about how the organization is structures it is useful to consider the following structural dimensions: formalization, centralization, specialization, standardization, complexity and hierarchy of authority. As you reflect upon your research of your company and its structure, indicate in the following table where you believe your company rates on each dimension.

High Low
Formalization – the degree to which the organization has official rules, regulation, and procedures High
Centralization – the degree to which decisions are made at the top of the organization Low
Specialization – the degree to which jobs are narrowly defined and depend on unique expertise High
Complexity – the degree to which many different types of activities occur in the organization High
Flat Tall
Hierarchy of authority – the degree of vertical differential across levels of management Tall

In today’s business environment there is a constant need for companies to be flexible and it is often said that companies need to be able to change or they will not survive. As you reflect upon your understanding of these structural dimensions, indicate in the following table what you believe the structural dimension should look like for a company that is flexible and able to adapt to environmental changes in its industry.

High Low
Formalization – the degree to which the organization has official rules, regulation, and procedures High
Centralization – the degree to which decisions are made at the top of the organization Low
Specialization – the degree to which jobs are narrowly defined and depend on unique expertise High
Complexity – the degree to which many different types of activities occur in the organization Low
Flat Tall
Hierarchy of authority – the degree of vertical differential across levels of management Tall

Consider job offers form a company. How would you use these dimensions of formalization, centralization, specialization, standardization, complexity and hierarchy of authority to decide if the company’s structure fits with your own personality? In the following table, indicate each dimension which level you think would best align with your personality.

High Low
Formalization – the degree to which the organization has official rules, regulation, and procedures Low
Centralization – the degree to which decisions are made at the top of the organization Low
Specialization – the degree to which jobs are narrowly defined and depend on unique expertise High
Complexity – the degree to which many different types of activities occur in the organization Low
Flat Tall
Hierarchy of authority – the degree of vertical differential across levels of management Tall
Organizational Design and Structure at Google INC.

Works Cited

Google (2008). About Google. Web.

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