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Organizational Culture: Google January 31, 2007

Posted by Stacey Swift in Organizational Culture.

I also came across the same article on Google as Jenine, however I wanted to pose a different question in another blog. Google was recently named the #1 company to work for by Fortune magazine. I came across a very interesting quote that I believe can provide an interesting discussion on organizational theory.

“Is Google’s culture the cause of its success or merely a result? Put another way: Is Google a great place to work because its stock is at $483, or is its stock at $483 because it’s a great place to work?”

It is clearly easy for Google to provide their employees with 11 eateries free to employees when they are doing so well financially. Is it possible for a company to become financially successful because of their culture?

Or do they need to be financially successful first in order to create a culture enjoyable for?

I think it is possible for a company to become successful because of their organizational culture. We saw in Chapter 1 p.10 in the comparison of Dell and Apple, Dell, “Fostered a spirit of comradeship and cooperation among team members to encourage top performance.” They were thus very successful. If the company culture encourages their employees to think freely and be creative, financial success will follow. I believe it may go both ways.



1. Stephanie - January 31, 2007

This past summer I interned for a telecommunications company in Ireland called O2. It is also in other European countries such as the UK and Germany. The Ireland branch was rated the number one company in Ireland to work for in 2006. As I worked in Human Resources, I worked with very sensitive data regarding salaries and benefits. I cannot say that I ever saw outlandish salaries in the information I had available, however the culture of the company truly was extraordinary. From the physical building, to the canteen (cafeteria), the attached gym, parking garage and the atmosphere of the work environment, the entire work place cultivated conditions that were conducive to effectively creating happy, productive workers. I do believe that the culture of the company is what created the success for both O2 and Google. As an employee, I can say from experience that proper working conditions can generate enthusiasm and pride in a company that will translate into a company which is more productive and wealthier on many levels.

2. Meg Nelson - January 31, 2007

That question is kind of a “which came first, the chicken or the egg” question. I think that both effects can cycle themselves. They thrive on innovation, and therefore have high profits. They also have high profits and can therefore thrive on innovation. Now, Google definitely didn’t start off with the star treatment that they are now able to give their employees. But, the two founders have always appreciated new ideas and methods to better their organization. As a result, they see a great deal of success and will most likely continue to see this success in the future.

3. Lady - February 5, 2007

I believe that it may go both ways but I believe moreso that organizational culture can create financial successs. Most businesses who don’t have such a friendly organizational culture might simply say that they can’t “afford it” and that to me seems to be an excuse. Some businesses have been successful at it so I feel like other organizations should take more time planning and implementing changes to create a different culture (if that is what they want). Another example of an organization with a nice culture would be Johnson and Johnson who has a Credo that they live by. Most of their employees value their Credo very much and take great pride in working to fulfil it. As a result of following their Credo, their consumers are well taken care of (keep the Tylenol tampering case in mind) and they are able to have continued financial success in the future.

4. Salman-Taherizadeh - February 15, 2007

the most important cause of its success is “continous innovation”. Google revisits, reinvent, refresh, recreate competitive advantage continously. Google has a sustainable competitive advantage. one of key competitive advantages can be organizational culture(in the Google company is principle 20%). but “continous innovation” is more important than “organizational culture”.
Best Regards
Salman-Taherizadeh (Iran)

5. silviamocanu07 - March 1, 2007

I think that both financial success and company culture are connected and it is important to have both. A positive culture forsters incentives for employees to be creative and work harder, which can lead to the financial success of the company. On the other hand, financial success brought about by smart business decisions and financial planning, also fosters a positive culture. The company is doing well, so its employees are likely to be happy, particularly in Google’s case where the employees have so many benefits and such amazing work conditions and facilities.

6. Jordi - April 13, 2007

As long as Google is so profitable, it is easy to have the trappings of the positive culture. If new competitors make it a less munificent niche, will they have all the goodies that seem to point to the Google culture everyone likes? Will we see more of their culture, or a cultural change, as the dynamics of the search niche change?

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