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GOOGLE: a reflection of culture, leader, and management

  • Sang Kim Tran 1 , 2  

International Journal of Corporate Social Responsibility volume  2 , Article number:  10 ( 2017 ) Cite this article

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This paper provides a viewpoint of the culture and subcultures at Google Inc., which is a famous global company, and has a huge engineering staff and many talented leaders. Through its history of development, it has had positive impacts on society; however; there have been management challenges. The Board of Directors (BoDs) developed and implemented a way to measure the abilities of their managers, which helped to identify problems. This paper will analyze the case study of Harvard Business Review, Oxygen Project, and clarify the management problem in Google’s organization. It will also compare Google with Zappos, a much smaller organization, and present how the BoDs of Zappos assesses its culture and subcultures. In this paper, we will recommend eight important points to building an organizational culture that is positive for stable growth of a company. We believe that much of what be learned could be useful to other business leaders, regardless of company scale.


In a large society, each company is considered a miniature society (Mawere 2011 ). Similar to large societies with large cultures, small societies also need to build their own cultures. A culture is influenced by many factors and determines if it is a great culture. Corporate culture requires both the attention to the efficiency of production and business and to the relationship among people in the organization closely (Bhagat et al. 2012 ). Regardless if it is a large or a small organization, it must encounter issues of cooperation among individuals and groups. There are many factors leading to the success of business process re-engineering in higher education (BPR), the main four elements are culture, processes, structure, and technology. Culture is listed as number one (Ahmad et al. 2007 ). Hence, culture becomes the most important factor to the success of the development of a business. Organizational culture is the set of shared beliefs (Steiber and Alänge 2016 ), values, and norms that influence the way members think, feel, and behave. Culture is created by means of terminal and instrumental values, heroes, rites and rituals, and communication networks (Barman n.d. ). The primary methods of maintaining organizational culture are through the socialization process by which an individual learns the values, expected behaviors, and necessary social knowledge to assume their roles in the organization. In addition, (Gupta and Govindarajan 2000 ) and Fig.  1 in (Ismail Al-Alawi et al. 2007 ) illustrates that culture was established by six major factors, such as information systems, people, process, leadership, rewarding system, and organization structure. Therefore, there is a wide variety of combined and sophisticated cultures in the workplace, especially in big corporations like Google, Facebook, Proctor & Gamble, etc. Each organization tends to have a common goal, which is to create a culture that is different from other companies and to promote their teams to be creative in developing a distinctive culture (Stimpson and Farquharson 2014 ). Clearly, we can see that Google’s culture is different than others. What makes this company unique and different from others, as well as the dominant cultures and subcultures existing at this company? How do leadership behaviors impact the organizational culture? By operating a case study of a Harvard Business Review to analyze its organizational culture, subsequently, having compared it with Zappos’ culture, this paper will clarify the similarities and differences in managing organizational cultures between them and consider whether the solutions for the problems can be applied to other business models, and for tomorrow leaders or not?

Trends of using product by information searching

Company overview

This part shows how Google became famous in the world and its culture and subcultures made it a special case for others to take into consideration. Google is one of the few technology companies which continue to have one of the fastest growth rates in the world. It began by creating a search engine that combined PageRank system, developed by Larry Page (ranking the importance of websites based on external links), and Web search engine, created by Sergey Brin (accessing a website and recording its content), two co-founders of the company (Jarvis 2011 ; Downes 2007 ). Google’s achievements absolutely do not come from any luck. Google has made extra efforts in creating an index of a number of websites, which have been up to 25 billion websites. This also includes 17 million images and one billion messages to Usenet group (Downes 2007 ). Besides searching for websites, Google users are able to search for PDF files, PostScript, documents, as well as Microsoft, Lotus, PowerPoint and Shockwave files. Google processes nearly 50% of search queries all over the world. Moreover, it is the number one search option for web users and is one of the top five websites on the Internet, which have more than 380 million users and 28 billion visits every month, and more than 50% of access from countries outside the US (Desjardins 2017 ). Google’s technology is rather special: it can analyze millions of different variables of users and businesses who place advertisements. It then connects them with millions of potential advertisements and gives messages of advertisement, which is closest to objects in less than one second. Thus, Google has the higher rate of users clicking advertisements than its opponent Yahoo, from 50 to 100%, and it dominates over 70% market share of paid advertisements (Rosenberg 2016 ). Google’s self-stated mission: “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful (Alves n.d. ).” Nowadays, it is believed that people in the world like “Google” with words “the useful-lively information storage”.

Predominant culture at Google

The dominant culture in the organization depends on the environment in which the company operates the organization’s objectives, the belief system of the employees, and the company’s management style. Therefore, there are many organizational cultures (Schein 2017 ). The Exhibit 3.1 at page 39 in (Schein 2009 ) provides what culture is about. For example, employee follows a standard procedure with a strict adherence to hierarchy and well-defined individual roles and responsibilities. Those in competitive environments, such as sales may forget strict hierarchies and follow a competitive culture where the focus is on maintaining strong relationships with external parties. In this instance, the strategy is to attain competitive advantages over the competition. The collaborative culture is yet another organizational way of life. This culture presents a decentralized workforce with integrated units working together to find solutions to problems or failure.

Why do many large companies buy its innovation? Because its dominant culture of 99% defect-free operational excellence squashes any attempts at innovation, just like a Sumo wrestler sitting on a small gymnast (Grossman-Kahn and Rosensweig 2012 ). They cannot accept failures. In fact, failure is a necessary part of innovation and Google took this change by Oxygen Project to measure the abilities of their multicultural managers. This means that Google itself possesses multiple different cultures (see Google’s clips). Like Zappos, Google had established a common, organizational culture for the whole offices that are distinctive from the others. The predominant culture aimed at Google is an open culture, where everybody and customer can freely contribute their ideas and opinions to create more comfortable and friendly working environment (Hsieh 2010a ).

The fig.  2 .1 in chapter two of (Schein 2009 ) and page 17 in part one of (Schein 2017 ) provide us three levels of culture which are Artifacts, Espoused values and Underlying assumptions helping us to understand the culture at Google. At page 84, in (Schein 2009 ), the “artifacts” are identified such as dress codes, level of formality in authority relationships, working hours, meeting (how often, how run, timing), how are decisions made, communication, social events, jargon, uniforms, identity symbols, rites and rituals, disagreements and conflicts, balance between work and family . It seems that Google is quite open in these artifacts by showing a respect for uniform and national culture of each staff individually and giving them the right to wear traditional clothes.

Ad Blocking Incidence

Working at Google, employees enjoy free food served throughout the day, a volleyball court, a swimming pool, a car wash, an oil change, a haircut, free health care, and many other benefits. The biggest benefit for the staff is to be picked up on the day of work. As assessed by many traffic experts, the system set up by Google is considered to be a great transport network. Tad Widby, a project manager and a traffic system researcher throughout the United States, said: “I have not seen any larger projects in the Bay Area as well as in urban areas across the country” (Helft 2007 ). Of course, it is impossible for Google to “cover up the sky”, so Yahoo also started implementing the bus project for employees in 2005. On peak days, Yahoo’s bus also took off. Pick up about 350 employees in San Francisco, as well as Berkeley, Oakland, etc. These buses run on biofuels and have Wi-Fi coverage. Yet, Danielle Bricker, the Yahoo bus coordinator of Yahoo, has also admitted that the program is “indirectly” inspired by Google’s initiative (Helft 2007 ). Along with that, eBay recently also piloted shuttle bus transfers at five points in San Francisco. Some other corporations are also emerging ideas for treatment of staff is equally unique. Facebook is an example, instead of facilitating employees far from the workplace; it helps people in the immediate neighborhood by offering an additional $10,000 for an employee to live close to the pillar within 10 miles, nearby the Palo Alto Department (Hall 2015 ).

When it comes to Google, people often ask what the formula for success is. The answer here is the employees of Google. They create their own unique workplace culture rules to create an effective work environment for their employees. And here are the most valuable things to learn from Google’s corporate culture (Scott 2008 ) that we should know:

Tolerate with mistakes and help staff correct

At Google, 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.

Also as its culture, we understand that if we want to make breakthroughs in the workplace, we need to have experimentation, failure and repeat the test. Therefore, mistakes and failures are not terrible there. We have the right to be wrong and have the opportunity to overcome failure in the support of our superiors and colleagues. Good ideas are always encouraged at Google. However, before it is accepted and put into use, there is a clear procedure to confirm whether it is a real new idea and practical or not?

Exponential thought

Google developed in the direction of a holding company - a company that does not directly produce products or provide services but simply invest in capital by buying back capital. In the company, the criteria for setting the ten exponential function in lieu of focusing only on the change in the general increase. This approach helps Google improve its technology and deliver great products to consumers continuously.

Of course, every company wants to hire talented people to work for them. However, being talented is an art in which there must be voluntary work and enthusiasm for the work of the devotees. At page 555 in (Saffold 1988 ) illustrated that distinctive cultures dramatically influencing performance do exist. Likewise, Google, Apple, Netflix, and Dell are 40% more productive than the average company which attracts top-tier employees and high performers (Vozza 2017 ). Recognizing this impact, Google created a distinctive corporate culture when the company attracted people from prestigious colleges around the world (West 2016 ; Lazear and Gibbs 2014 ).

Build a stimulating work environment

When it comes to the elements that create creativity and innovation, we can easily recognize that the working environment is one of the most important things. Google has succeeded in building an image of a creative working. Google offices are individually designed, not duplicated in any type of office. In fact, working environment at Google is so comfortable so that employees will not think of it as a working room, with a full area of ​​work, relaxation, exercise, reading, watching movies. Is the orientation of Google’s corporate culture to stimulate creativity and to show interest in the lives of employees so that volunteers contribute freely (Battelle 2011 )?

Subculture is also a culture, but for a smaller group or community in a big organization (Crosset and Beal 1997 ). Google, known as the global company with many more offices, so there are many subcultures created among groups of people who work together, from subcultures among work groups to subcultures among ethnic groups and nations, multi-national groups, as well as multiple occupations, functions, geographies, echelons in the hierarchy and product lines. For example, six years ago, when it bought 100 Huffys for employees to use around the sprawling campus, has since exploded into its own subculture. Google now has a seven-person staff of bicycle mechanics that maintains a fleet of about 1300 brightly-colored Google bikes. The company also encourages employees to cycle to work by providing locker rooms, showers and places to securely park bikes during working hours. And, for those who want to combine meetings with bike-riding, Googlers can use one of several seven-person (Crowley 2013 ).

Leadership influences on the culture at Google

From the definition of leadership and its influence on culture; so what does leader directly influence the culture existed? According to Schein, “culture and leadership are two sides of the same coin and one cannot understand one without the other”, page three in (Schein 2009 ). If one of us has never read the article “Google and the Quest to create a better boss” in the New York Times, it is listed in a priority reading. It breaks the notion that managers have no change. The manager really makes a difference (Axinn 1988 ; Carver 2011 ). In fact, a leader has a massive impact on the culture of the company, and Google is not an exception. The leaders of Google concerned more about the demands and abilities of each individual, the study of the nature of human being, an appreciation their employees as their customers. At Google, the founders thought they could create a company that people would want to work at when creating a home-like environment. It is real that they focus on the workplace brings the comfort to staff creatively and freely (Lebowitz 2013 ).

In my opinion, a successful business cannot be attributed solely from a single star; that needs the brightness of all employees. It depends very much on the capacity and ability to attract talented people. It is the way in which the leader manages these talents, is the cornerstone of corporate culture. One thing that no one can deny is that a good leader must be a creator of a corporate culture so that the employees can maximize capabilities themselves (Driscoll and McKee 2007 ; Kotter 2008 ).

To brief, through the view of Google’s culture, BoDs tended and designed to encourage loyalty and creativity, based on an unusual organizational culture because culture is not only able to create an environment, but it also adapts to diverse and changes circumstances (Bulygo 2013 ).

Company growth and its impact

“Rearrange information around the world, make them accessible everywhere and be useful.” This was one of the main purposes set by Larry Page and Sergey Brin when they first launched Google on September 4th, 1998, as a private company (Schmidt and Rosenberg 2014 ). Since then, Google has expanded its reach, stepped into the mobile operating system, provided mapping services and cloud computing applications, launched its own hardware, and prepared it to enter the wearable device market. However, no matter how varied and rich these products are, they are all about the one thing, the root of Google: online searching.

1998–2001: Focus on search

In its early years, Google.com was simply one with extreme iconic images: a colorful Google logo, a long text box in the middle of the screen, a button to execute. One button for searching and the other button are “I’m feeling lucky” to lead users to a random Google site. By May 2000, Google added ten additional languages to Google.com , including French, German, Italian, Swedish, Finnish, Spanish, Portuguese, Dutch, Norwegian and Danish, etc. This is one of the milestones in Google’s journey into the world. Google.com is available in over 150 languages (Scott 2008 ; Lee 2017 ).

2001–2007: Interface card

A very important event with Google around this time was the sale of shares to the public (IPO). In October 2003, Microsoft heard news of the IPO, so it quickly approached Google to discuss a buyout or business deal. Nevertheless, that intention was not materialized. In 2004, it was also the time when Google held a market share of 84.7% globally through collaboration with major Internet companies, such as Yahoo, AOL, and CNN. By February 2004, Yahoo stopped working with Google and separately stood out for engine search. This has led Google to lose some market share, but it has shown the importance and distinctness of Google. Nowadays, the term “Google” has been used as a verb just by visiting Google.com and doing an online search (Smith 2010 ). Not stopping at the homepage search, Google’s interface tag began to be brought to Gmail and Calendar with the links at the top of the page. Google homepage itself continues to use this style.

In 2006, Google also made an important acquisition to buy YouTube for $1.65 billion (Burgess and Green 2013 ). However, the company decided to keep YouTube as a separate brand and not to include it in Google Video search. Thanks to the backing of an Internet industry giant, YouTube has grown to become the world’s largest online video sharing service (Cha et al. 2007 ).

2007–2012: Navigation bar, Google menu, Google now

Google began to deploy a new navigation bar located at the edge of the screen. It includes links to a place where to look for photos, videos, news, maps, as well as buttons to switch to Gmail, Calendar, and other services developed by the company. In the upper left corner, Google added a box displaying Google + notifications and user accounts’ image. Google Now not only appeared on Android and it’s also brought to Chrome on a computer as well as iOS. All have the same operating principle, and the interface card still appears as Android it is.

2013–2014: Simplified interface

Google has moved all of the icons that lead to its other applications and services to an App Drawer button in the upper right hand, at the corner of the screen. In addition, Google.com also supports better voice search through the Chrome browser. Google has experimented with other markets, such as radio and print publications, and in selling advertisements from its advertisers within offline newspapers and magazines. As of November 2014, Google operates over 70 offices over 40 countries (Jarvis 2011 ; Vise 2007 ).

2014–2017: Chrome development and facing challenges

In 2015, Google would turn HTTPS into the default. The better website is, the more users will trust search engine. In 2016, Google announced Android version 7, introduced a new VR platform called Daydream, and its new virtual assistant, Google Assistant.

Most of Google’s revenue comes from advertising (Rosenberg 2016 ). However, this “golden” business is entering a difficult period with many warning signs of its future. Google Search is the dominant strength of Google and bringing great revenue for the company. Nonetheless, when Amazon surpassed Google to become the world’s leading product in the search engine in last December, this advantage began to wobble. This is considered a fatal blow to Google when iOS devices account for 75% of their mobile advertising revenue (Rosenberg 2016 ).

By 2016, the number of people installing software to block ads on phones has increased 102% from 2015. Figure  1 illustrates that by the year’s end, about 16% of smart phone users around the world blocked their ads whilst surfing the web. These were also two groups having the most time on the Internet, high-earners and young people; however, these people have disliked ads (see Fig. 1 ).

Figure  2 shows the young people have the highest ad blocking rates. It is drawing a gloomy picture for the sustainable development of the online advertising industry in general and Google in particular. Therefore, in early 2017, Google has strategies to build an ad blocking tool, built into the Chrome browser. This tool allows users to access ads that have passed the “Coalition for Better Ads” filter so as to limit the sense of discomfort (see Fig. 2 ).

For the company impact, the history shows that speedy development of Google creates both economic and social impacts to followers in a new way of people connection (Savitz 2013 ). In this modern world, it seems that people cannot spend a day without searching any information in Google (Chen et al. 2014 ; Fast and Campbell 2004 ), a tool serves human information seeking needs. Even though when addressing this paper, it is also in need the information from Google search and uses it as a supporting tool. Nobody can deny the convenience of Google as a fast and easy way to search (Schalkwyk et al. 2010 ; Jones 2001 ; Langville and Meyer 2011 ).

Research question and methodology

In order to get the most comprehensive data and information for this case analysis, a number of methods are used, including:

Research data and collect information were mostly from the Harvard Study (Project Oxygen), which has been selected because it is related to the purpose of our study.

Data collection and analysis has been taken from Google Scholar and various websites related researches. We look at the history of appearance, development, and recognize the impacts of this company, as well as the challenges and the way the Board of Directors measures the abilities of their manager when the problem is found.

Analyzing: It was begun by considering expectations from the Harvard Study. Subsequently, considering the smaller organization (Zappos) in comparison of how its cultures and subcultures are accessed as well. Since then, the paper has clarified the management problem that Google and Zappos confront and deal with it so as to help other businesses apply this theoretical practice and achieve its goal beyond expectations.

In our paper, we mainly use the inductive method approach by compiling and describing the other authors’ theories of corporate culture, especially Google and Zappos in merging and comparing, analyzing them and making our own results.

From the aspects of the research, the questions are suggested as below:

What is the most instrumental element found from the Harvard study?

Is there any difference and similarity between a huge company and a smaller enterprise in perspective of culture and subculture?

What makes Google different from others, the dominant cultures as well as subcultures existing? How do leadership behaviors impact on the organizational culture?

How organizational culture impacts on business achievements?

The Harvard study

Project oxygen summary.

This project began in 2009 known as “the manager project” with the People and Innovation Lab (PiLab) team researching questions, which helped the employee of Google become a better manager. The case study was conducted by Garvin (2013) about a behavior measurement to Google’s manager, why managers matter and what the best manager s do. In early days of Google, there are not many managers. In a flat structure, most employees are engineers and technical experts. In fact, in 2002 a few hundred engineers reported to only four managers. But over time and out of necessity, the number of managers increased. Then, in 2009, people and team culture at Google noticed a disturbing trend. Exit interview data cited low satisfaction with their manager as a reason for leaving Google. Because Google has accessed so much online data, Google’s statisticians are asked to analyze and identify the top attributes of a good manager mentioned with an unsolved question: “Do managers matter?” It always concerns all stakeholders at Google and requires a data-based survey project called Project Oxygen to clarify employees’ concern, to measure key management behaviors and cultivate staff through communication and training (Bryant 2011 ; Garvin et al. 2013 ). Research −1 Exit Interviews, ratings, and semiannual reviews. The purpose is to identify high-scoring managers and low-scoring managers resulted in the former, less turnover on their teams, and its connection (manager quality and employee’s happiness). As for “what the best managers do”, Research-2 is to interview high and low scoring managers and to review their performance. The findings with 8 key behaviors illustrated by the most effective managers.

The Oxygen Project mirrors the managers’ decision-making criteria, respects their needs for rigorous analysis, and makes it a priority to measure impact. In the case study, the findings prove that managers really have mattered. Google, initially, must figure out what the best manager is by asking high and low scoring managers such questions about communication, vision, etc. Its project identifies eight behaviors (Bulygo 2013 ; Garvin et al. 2013 ) of a good manager that considered as quite simple that the best manager at Google should have. In a case of management problem and solution, as well as discussing four- key theoretical concepts, they will be analyzed, including formal organizational training system, how culture influences behavior, the role of “flow” and building capacity for innovation, and the role of a leader and its difference from the manager.

Formal organizational training system to create a different culture: Ethical culture

If the organizational culture represents “how we do things around here,” the ethical culture represents “how we do things around here in relation to ethics and ethical behavior in the organization” (Key 1999 ). Alison Taylor (The Five Levels of an Ethical Culture, 2017) reported five levels of an ethical culture, from an individual, interpersonal, group, intergroup to inter-organizational (Taylor 2017 ). In (Nelson and Treviño 2004 ), ethical culture should be thought of in terms of a multi-system framework included formal and informal systems, which must be aligned to support ethical judgment and action. Leadership is essential to driving the ethical culture from a formal and informal perspective (Schwartz 2013 ; Trevino and Nelson 2011 ). Formally, a leader provides the resources to implement structures and programs that support ethics. More informally, through their own behaviors, leadership is a role model whose actions speak louder than their words, conveying “how we do things around here.” Other formal systems include selection systems, policies and codes, orientation and training programs, performance management systems, authority structures, and formal decision processes. On the informal side are the organization’s role models and heroes, the norms of daily behavior, organizational rituals that support or do not support ethical conduct, the stories people tell about the organization and their implications for conduct, and the language people use, etc. Is it okay to talk about ethics? Or is ethical fading the norm?

The formal and informal training is very important. The ethical context in organizations helps the organizational culture have a tendency to the positive or negative viewpoints (Treviño et al. 1998 ). The leader should focus on providing an understanding of the nature and reasons for the organization’s values and rules, on providing an opportunity for question and challenge values for sincerity/practicality, and on teaching ethical decision-making skills related to encountered issues commonly. The more specific and customized training, the more effective it is likely to be. Google seemed to apply this theory when addressed the Oxygen Project.

How culture influences behavior

Whenever we approach a new organization, there is no doubt that we will try to get more about the culture of that place, the way of thinking, working, as well as behavior. And it is likely that the more diverse culture of a place is, the more difficult for outsiders to assess its culture becomes (Mosakowski 2004 ).

Realizing culture in (Schein 2009 ) including artifacts, espoused valued and shared underlying assumptions. It is easier for outsiders to see the artifacts (visual objects) that a group uses as the symbol for a group; however, it does not express more about the espoused values, as well as tacit assumptions. In (Schein et al. 2010 ), the author stated: “For a culture assessment to be valuable, it must get to the assumptions level. If the client system does not get to assumptions, it cannot explain the discrepancies almost always surface between the espoused values and the observed behavioral artifacts” (Schein et al. 2010 ). Hence, in order to be able to assess other cultures well, it is necessary for us to learn each other’s languages, as well as adapt to a common language. Moreover, we also need to look at the context of working, the solution for shared problems because these will facilitate to understand the culture better.

According to the OCP (Organizational Culture Profile) framework (Saremi and Nejad 2013 ), an organization is with possessing the innovation of culture, flexible and adaptable with fresh ideas, which is figured by flat hierarchy and title. For instance, Gore-Tex is an innovative product of W. L. Gore & Associates Inc., considered as the company has the most impact on its innovative culture (Boudreau and Lakhani 2009 ). Looking at the examples of Fast Company, Genentech Inc., and Google, they also encourage their employees to take challenges or risks by allowing them to take 20% of their time to comprehend the projects of their own (Saremi and Nejad 2013 ). In (Aldrich n.d. ), it is recorded that 25%–55% of employees are fully encouraged and giving a maximum value.

The famous quote by Peter Drucker , “Culture eats strategy for Breakfast” at page 67 has created a lot of interest in (Manning and Bodine 2012 ; Coffman and Sorensen 2013 ; Bock 2015 ). Despite we all know how important culture is, we have successively failed to address it (O'Reilly et al. 1991 ). The organizational research change process from the view of Schein ( 2009 ); it is a fact that whenever an organization has the intention of changing the culture, it really takes time. As we all acknowledge, to build an organizational culture, both leader and subordinate spend most of their time on learning, relearning, experiencing, as well as considering the most appropriate features. Sometimes, some changes are inevitable in terms of economic, political, technological, legal and moral threats, as well as internal discomfort (Kavanagh and Ashkanasy 2006 ; Schein 1983 ). As the case in (Schein 2009 ), when a CEO would like to make an innovation which is proved no effective response, given that he did not get to know well about the tacit implications at the place he has just come. It is illustrated that whatsoever change should need time and a process to happen (Blog 2015 ; Makhlouk and Shevchuk 2008 ). In conclusion, a new culture can be learned (Schein 1984 ), but with an appropriate route and the profits for all stakeholders should be concerned by the change manager (Sathe 1983 ).

It is true that people’s behavior managed by their types of culture (Kollmuss and Agyeman 2002 ). All tacit assumptions of insiders are not easy for outsiders to grasp the meaning completely (Schein 2009 ). It is not also an exception at any organization. Google is an example of the multicultural organization coming from various regions of the world, and the national or regional cultures making this multicultural organization with an official culture for the whole company.

In this case, the organizational culture of Google has an influence on the behaviors of manager and employee. In addition, as for such a company specializes in information technology, all engineers prefer to work on everything with data-evidence to get them involved in the meaningful survey about manager (Davenport et al. 2010 ). Eventually, Google discovered 8 good behaviors of manager, which effect to the role of “flow” also (Bulygo 2013 ; Garvin et al. 2013 ).

The role of the “flow” and building capacity for innovation

More and more people are using the term of “patient flow”. This overview describes patient flow and links to theories about flow. Patient flow underpins many improvement tools and techniques. The term “flow” describes the progressive movement of products, information, and people through a sequence of the process. In simple terms, flow is about uninterrupted movement (Nave 2002 ), like driving steadily along the motorway without interruptions or being stuck in a traffic jam. In healthcare, flow is the movement of patients, information or equipment between departments, office groups or organizations as a part of a patient’s care pathway (Bessant and Maher 2009 ). In fact, flow plays a vital role in getting stakeholders involved in working creatively and innovatively (Adams 2005 ; Amabile 1997 ; Forest et al. 2011 ). An effective ethical leader must create flow in work before transfer it to employees for changing the best of their effort to maintain, keep and develop “flow” in an engineering job, which job be easier to get stress. Definitely, Google gets it done very well.


Thanks to the knowledge from my Master course, a credit of managing culture which helps me to write this paper. The author also gratefully acknowledges the helpful comments and suggestions of the reviewers and Associate Professor Khuong- Ho Van, who provided general technical help that all have improved the article.

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Tran, S.K. GOOGLE: a reflection of culture, leader, and management. Int J Corporate Soc Responsibility 2 , 10 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1186/s40991-017-0021-0

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Received : 16 May 2017

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11.1 Decision-Making Culture: The Case of Google

Figure 11.1

Googleplex Welcome Sign

Wikimedia Commons – public domain.

Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) is one of the best-known and most admired companies around the world, so much so that “googling” is the term many use to refer to searching information on the Web. What started out as a student project by two Stanford University graduates—Larry Page and Sergey Brin—in 1996, Google became the most frequently used Web search engine on the Internet with 1 billion searches per day in 2009, as well as other innovative applications such as Gmail, Google Earth, Google Maps, and Picasa. Google grew from 10 employees working in a garage in Palo Alto to 10,000 employees operating around the world by 2009. What is the formula behind this success?

Google strives to operate based on solid principles that may be traced back to its founders. In a world crowded with search engines, they were probably the first company that put users first. Their mission statement summarizes their commitment to end-user needs: “To organize the world’s information and to make it universally accessible and useful.” While other companies were focused on marketing their sites and increasing advertising revenues, Google stripped the search page of all distractions and presented users with a blank page consisting only of a company logo and a search box. Google resisted pop-up advertising, because the company felt that it was annoying to end-users. They insisted that all their advertisements would be clearly marked as “sponsored links.” This emphasis on improving user experience and always putting it before making more money in the short term seems to have been critical to their success.

Keeping their employees happy is also a value they take to heart. Google created a unique work environment that attracts, motivates, and retains the best players in the field. Google was ranked as the number 1 “Best Place to Work For” by Fortune magazine in 2007 and number 4 in 2010. This is not surprising if one looks closer to how Google treats employees. On their Mountain View, California, campus called the “Googleplex,” employees are treated to free gourmet food options including sushi bars and espresso stations. In fact, many employees complain that once they started working for Google, they tend to gain 10 to 15 pounds! Employees have access to gyms, shower facilities, video games, on-site child care, and doctors. Google provides 4 months of paternal leave with 75% of full pay and offers $500 for take-out meals for families with a newborn. These perks create a place where employees feel that they are treated well and their needs are taken care of. Moreover, they contribute to the feeling that they are working at a unique and cool place that is different from everywhere else they may have worked.

In addition, Google encourages employee risk taking and innovation. How is this done? When a vice president in charge of the company’s advertising system made a mistake costing the company millions of dollars and apologized for the mistake, she was commended by Larry Page, who congratulated her for making the mistake and noting that he would rather run a company where they are moving quickly and doing too much, as opposed to being too cautious and doing too little. This attitude toward acting fast and accepting the cost of resulting mistakes as a natural consequence of working on the cutting edge may explain why the company is performing much ahead of competitors such as Microsoft and Yahoo! One of the current challenges for Google is to expand to new fields outside of their Web search engine business. To promote new ideas, Google encourages all engineers to spend 20% of their time working on their own ideas.

Google’s culture is reflected in their decision making as well. Decisions at Google are made in teams. Even the company management is in the hands of a triad: Larry Page and Sergey Brin hired Eric Schmidt to act as the CEO of the company, and they are reportedly leading the company by consensus. In other words, this is not a company where decisions are made by the senior person in charge and then implemented top down. It is common for several small teams to attack each problem and for employees to try to influence each other using rational persuasion and data. Gut feeling has little impact on how decisions are made. In some meetings, people reportedly are not allowed to say “I think…” but instead must say “the data suggest….” To facilitate teamwork, employees work in open office environments where private offices are assigned only to a select few. Even Kai-Fu Lee, the famous employee whose defection from Microsoft was the target of a lawsuit, did not get his own office and shared a cubicle with two other employees.

How do they maintain these unique values? In a company emphasizing hiring the smartest people, it is very likely that they will attract big egos that may be difficult to work with. Google realizes that its strength comes from its “small company” values that emphasize risk taking, agility, and cooperation. Therefore, they take their hiring process very seriously. Hiring is extremely competitive and getting to work at Google is not unlike applying to a college. Candidates may be asked to write essays about how they will perform their future jobs. Recently, they targeted potential new employees using billboards featuring brain teasers directing potential candidates to a Web site where they were subjected to more brain teasers. Each candidate may be interviewed by as many as eight people on several occasions. Through this scrutiny, they are trying to select “Googley” employees who will share the company’s values, perform at high levels, and be liked by others within the company.

Will this culture survive in the long run? It may be too early to tell, given that the company was only founded in 1998. The founders emphasized that their initial public offering (IPO) would not change their culture and they would not introduce more rules or change the way things are done in Google to please Wall Street. But can a public corporation really act like a start-up? Can a global giant facing scrutiny on issues including privacy, copyright, and censorship maintain its culture rooted in its days in a Palo Alto garage? Larry Page is quoted as saying, “We have a mantra: don’t be evil, which is to do the best things we know how for our users, for our customers, for everyone. So I think if we were known for that, it would be a wonderful thing.”

Based on information from Elgin, B., Hof, R. D., & Greene, J. (2005, August 8). Revenge of the nerds—again. BusinessWeek . Retrieved April 30, 2010, from http://www.businessweek.com/technology/content/jul2005/tc20050728 _5127_tc024.htm ; Hardy, Q. (2005, November 14). Google thinks small. Forbes, 176 (10); Lashinky, A. (2006, October 2). Chaos by design. Fortune , 154 (7); Mangalindan, M. (2004, March 29). The grownup at Google: How Eric Schmidt imposed better management tactics but didn’t stifle search giant. Wall Street Journal , p. B1; Lohr, S. (2005, December 5). At Google, cube culture has new rules. New York Times . Retrieved April 30, 2010, from http://www.nytimes.com/2005/12/05/technology/05google.html ; Schoeneman, D. (2006, December 31). Can Google come out to play? New York Times . Retrieved April 30, 2010, from http://www.nytimes.com/2006/12/31/fashion/31google.html ; Warner, M. (2004, June). What your company can learn from Google. Business 2.0, 5 (5).

Discussion Questions

  • Do you think Google’s decision-making culture will help or hurt Google in the long run?
  • What are the factors responsible for the specific culture that exists in Google?
  • What type of decision-making approach has Google taken? Do you think this will remain the same over time? Why or why not?
  • Do you see any challenges Google may face in the future because of its emphasis on risk taking?

Organizational Behavior Copyright © 2017 by University of Minnesota is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License , except where otherwise noted.

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How Google Became a Globally Well-Known Brand?

Krishna kumar

Google began as an online search firm, but it now offers more than 50 internet services and products from e-mail and online documentation for mobile phones and tablet computers. In addition, the 2012 acquisition of Motorola Dynamics has put it in a position to sell hardware such as mobile phones. Google's comprehensive product portfolio and size make it one of the top four impressive companies in the high-tech market with Apple, IBM, and Microsoft. Despite these innumerable products, its original search tool remains the origin of its success. In 2016, Alphabet earned all its revenues from Google advertising on the basis of users' search requests.

case study about google company

Google - Company Highlights

Google Business Model Google's Business Model Change Over The Next Ten Years? Google's Other Products Google Funding And IPO Google Interesting Facts Swot Analysis of Google

Google Business Model

The Google Inc business model can be seen more clearly when it is divided into a few key areas:

Key Partners: Google's key partners include Suppliers, Distributors, Open Handset Alliance, and Original Equipment Manufacturers.

Key Activities: Key activities include research and development for both the development of new technologies and features and the improvement of existing ones.  Significant time is spent in the maintenance and management of large-scale IT infrastructure and products and services.  Apart from this, work is done on marketing, strategy and alliances.

Key Resources: Google's core resources will include data centers, servers and other IT infrastructure, IP as well as human resources.  Other resources include patents, licenses and proprietary materials.

Value Proposition: The company aims to create value for its customers for internet search, advertising, operating systems and platforms, and the enterprise.  The overreaching principle is derived from the mission statement to manage the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful.

Channels : Channels to reach customers include google.com, Google affiliate website, and Google Ads Words.  Sales and support teams are involved to reach advertisers and network members.

Customer Relationships: The channel can include sales and support services as well as a dedicated team for large customers to build customer relationships.

Customer Segment: Google has three main customers. Users who are able to organize information in a useful way using Google products and services, advertisers who have an effective way of displaying online and offline advertisements for customers and members of the Google Network and other content providers,  Those who use the Ads Sense service.  Other expanded segments may include mobile device users and manufacturers and developers.

Google's Business Model Change Over The Next Ten Years?

Here are the Major Trends:

  • Search traffic is moving to mobile and voice.  This reduces advertising revenue
  • Advertising is moving from traditional to digital.  This increases advertising revenue.
  • Servers and services are moving to the cloud.  This increases cloud revenue.
  • Supporting-based tools are ecosystem coalescing.  The effect is… complicated.
  • AR / VR.  Google's bet is on phone-based VR.

The magnitude of trend 2 surpasses the magnitude of trend 1, so Google's advertising revenue will continue to grow indefinitely.

Trend 3 is all the opposite.  The main question is whether they can hold on to Amazon and Microsoft, and if not, can they build a fairly profitable business from third place.  Strategically, they are unlikely to make major changes to their cloud strategy until they exit the market entirely, which seems impossible.

Trend 4: The instrument, is an interesting one. This is an important new market for Google which, in the best case, outperforms other tech companies in profits. This is their best chance to build a huge new profit center. The Google device is well-positioned to win the competition. They have better AI than Amazon and Apple, they have a phone that Amazon doesn't, and they have a successful speaker device, which Apple doesn't. However, things can change rapidly, such as Amazon launching a successful phone.

It is also unclear how big the market will be. Google's system, which makes phone calls on your behalf, hints at the size Google sees in this market: Vishal. If Google is able to use AI to transact with humans, then a whole host of tasks will be automated and the value will be very high. This would be so disruptive that they would have to carefully consider the social consequences. But it represents another revenue source with advertisements. On the other hand, if accessories remain merely a technological toys, then Google won't really lose anything.  Like trend 3, it is all upside down.

Trend 5 has no upside or downside for Google. If it turns out Google is right, then AR / VR will not be a significant revenue source for anyone.  If they are wrong, some other company will get rich. This is a big trend in the industry but one Google is staying away from most.

So overall, Google's big business model shift will be a new AI-based device and services ecosystem.  This is his big bet for the coming decade

Google's Other Products

case study about google company

Some of Google's other basic products include:

  • Google News: The service started in 2002 as an automated service, which summarizes news items from multiple websites.
  • Google Fiber: The Google Fiber Project began in 2010.  The plan was to build an ultra-high-speed broadband network in some US cities.  Kansas City was chosen as a pilot project, and the project was completed in 2012.
  • Google Phone and Android OS: Google launched Android, a mobile phone operating system in 2007.  Google acquired the OS as open-source software and allows developers to use software development kits to develop applications.  Google also released a phone called Nexus One.
  • Google Chrome: Google Chrome was announced in 2008 as an open-source web browser.  Google Chrome OS was launched in 2009 as a Linux-based operating system.  The OS only supported a web browser, which is used to log people into their online Google accounts.
  • Google Goggles: This is a mobile application for Android and Apple iOS.  It is used for image recognition and image-based searches.  The application can identify historical sites, scan business cards and even solve riddles.

Google launched the ‘Shopping’ tab to enable users to flip through the products and direct them to the merchant websites or e-commerce platforms when searching for products to buy in June 2020. Similar to the News and Image tab on Google, the shopping tab allows users to seamlessly control their search by putting necessary filters and browsing the desired product through listing on different websites. Google has collaborated with e-commerce players such as Flipkart, Paytm Mall, Myntra , Koovs, etc., to join the company’s shopping tab initiative.

“We are always exploring options to help consumers find the products they want to buy more quickly and efficiently from local merchants,”

The Google spokesperson confirmed the latest initiative in an email response claiming that the feature will facilitate customer online shopping more efficiently from the local merchants as well along with e-commerce players. Reportedly, Google has collaborated with the leading e-commerce platforms including Flipkart, Snapdeal, Myntra and Paytm Mall on board in their latest project.

Besides, the search giant also intends to tap the SME space from local Kirana stores (like JioMart ) to expensive art collection stores whose merchants are not necessarily listed on the e-commerce players’ websites. The ongoing talks between Google and retailers both big and small will help the search giant understand the country’s shopping trends. These local merchants need not necessarily list on platforms like Amazon or Flipkart.

Another Google spokesperson said, “ They (Google) will partner with retailers of all sizes. It can tell the user where the product is available, is it available online, etc. For now, this service is being provided free of cost.”

Through Shopping Tab, Google lists products through its ‘product listing ads’, the Shopping tab will give users a lot more control. For instance, users can filter the product they are looking for based on price or any other attributes such as price, seller, delivery, department, colour, shape, and so on..., while also getting more details of the product by going to the ‘details’ page.

case study about google company

The most popular search engine operating company, Google was functioning the Shopping tab in 30+ countries when last reported in June 2020. On the merchant side, anyone with a product feed can plug into Google’s merchant centre to be listed on the shopping tab. On the user side, the tab has also seen high rates of engagement, largely due to the specificity that product search allows filter by attributes. With 80-85 million online shoppers, India is an important market for Google.

Google Funding And IPO

The company got its first financing from Sun Microsystems co-founder Andy Bectolsham. The company had financed 100,000 US dollars before the incorporation. Page and Brin tried to sell their website for 1 million US dollars in 1999 because they thought it was distracted by the work of their PhD. They went away and went to secure $25 million in funding from major investors. Among them, Cleaner Perkins Kaffield and Biers along with Venture Capital companies like Secucau Capital were included. The company's IPO was five years later. 19, 605,052 shares were presented at $85 per share on the August 19, 2004 IPO of Google. Morgan Stanley and Credits were underwriters for Suisse Deals and an online auction system was also prepared for the sale of shares. The valuation of Google at IPO was $23.1 bn. Sales were worth $1.67 billion and by 2014, the company's market capitalization was then worth $23 billion, which increased to $397 billion.

The company has secured around $36.1 mn in funding:

The company retained control of most shares. There were mistakes that the IPO will impact the company's culture through the impact of the company, such as a sudden millionaire situation of shareholder pressure and many officers on paper. The founders addressed these concerns and assured potential investors that the company's culture will remain intact. To ensure that it is continuing, the company has a designated main culture officer. This role is served by the director of human resources and its purpose is to ensure that culture and methods are developed and maintained and be kept right for the original values that form the company's base. Over the last few years, there were concerns and suggestions that the company has lost a bad way of anti-corporate thinking and has also given some allegations about sexuality and age. However, none of them turned out to be true.

Google Interesting Facts

  • The name of Google is taken from Googol, which is equal to the number 1 after 100 zero (1 x 10 ^ 100).
  • The original name for the backrub search engine was until Sergey Brin and Larry Page Google's URL Google, Inc.
  • Google registered its domain on September 15, 1997.
  • Google's URLs are often misspelled. For example, the user queries of Google, often become www.gooogle.com, www.gogle.com, and www.googler..com, however, all of them are owned by Google, Inc.
  • According to the 2013 PU Research Center survey, most Internet users (about 56%) have to use Google to find information about themselves
  • The Google search technology is called PageRank.
  • Withholding a dominant 91.94% market share , when last reported in 2021, Google is the biggest search engine.
  • Google has an enviable 24.4 million followers on Twitter.
  • Google turned out to be unreachable for 5 minutes on August 16th, 2013. It was found that on that specific time interval, global internet usage saw a fall of 40%.
  • We all know Google has a Twitter account. But do you know Google's first tweet? You would be surprised that the first tweet that came from the colossal search engine operator was: “I’m feeling lucky” in binary code.
  • Google has made its homepage available in 80+ languages.
  • Google's revenues mostly come from the advertisements it features. It drew 89% of its revenue from advertisements in 2014.

case study about google company

Swot Analysis of Google

case study about google company

Google's Strength

  • King of Online Search: Google is the undisputed king of the online search engine division. It processes about 2% of world questions.
  • Huge Market Share : Currently, Google has a 28% share in the worldwide desktop searches market.
  • Invincible: So far, no competitor has come close to challenging its position, let alone its market share in the search engines.
  • Largest Traffic Generator: Every month, this powerful brand generates over 1.2 billion hits. It is the largest traffic generator and has a clear advantage over its competitors such as Bing, Yahoo, Baidu.
  • High Revenue: The huge revenue of $65 billion (2017) that Google has gained through various partnerships with various sites has ensured its growth.
  • Adaptability: Google has successfully adapted mobile and Android technologies, giving Apple the ability to compete directly with the iPhone

Google's Weakness

  • Reputation is being affected as users and governments feel that they do not up to their social corporate responsibility.

For example not paying enough tax on profits. The social network site Google Plus has failed and will be shut down. The main income is from advertising revenue. This can be a problem if advertisers decide to cut their costs.

  • Dependence on the Internet
  • Minimal physical presence

Google's Opportunity

  • Wearable market: In November 2019, Google acquired Fitbit for $2.1 billion to compete with Apple and Samsung in the attractive and growing wearable (smartwatch and fitness band) market.
  • Android OS: The most important opportunity for Google is its noticeable efforts in Android operating system provisioning. This has strengthened their chances of competing directly with Apple iOS.
  • Google Glasses and Google Play: Google is set to market its newly launched Google Glasses and Google Play. This can boost the progress and development of Google.
  • Cloud computing: With its storage and cloud solutions, cloud computing can play a significant role in Google's marketing enterprise.  In January 2018, Google introduced a new digital store, which provides cloud-based software to all organizations.  Correspondingly, the company also launched Mobile Iron, Inc., To integrate its Orbitra Commerce platform with Mobile Iron's app distribution, security, and analytics capabilities.
  • Non-advertising business model: Google needs to start a diversification process and aim to create a non-advertising business model accordingly.  There is a need to further enhance adaptability by committing to more commercial transactions.  This will ensure permanent revenue

Google's Threat

  • Market Shares Decline: According to data gathered from Emarketer, Google's US digital advertising revenue is expected to see a decline in market shares. It was 38.8% (2017), 37.2% (2018). The reason for this is the increasing competition from Facebook, Amazon, Instagram, and Snapchat for advertising market share.
  • Gender Bias: A Google memo published by its employer James Damore has sparked a strong debate on the issue of gender bias and free speech in the company, highlighting its diversity policy.
  • Change Of Information: China has drawn a lot of criticism over its alleged cooperation with China on the search engine project (Dragonfly) by the censors. Antitrust controversy: Google has been involved in antitrust disputes for years with US and EU lawmakers.  Anti-EU antitrust regulators fined EUR 5 billion which Google has sought to challenge.
  • Censorship Policy: Google has not managed to protect itself from backlash over its censorship policy.  Many whistle-blowers have started leaking about its political, and ideological leanings.
  • Competitors: Google is the primary threat from its rivals Facebook and Amazon. Both competitors are slowly joining up with Google.  Their new features and increasing popularity can take the headlines away from Google.

case study about google company

Google's SWOT analysis shows the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats of the largest online search engines. The popularity of Google allows it to enjoy huge profits.

The search engine keeps growing every year and keeps improving its technology. If Google addresses its weaknesses and threats, no other competitor can outperform or match this company.

Who created Google?

Google was created by Larry Page and Sergey Brin.

Who is Google CEO?

The CEO of Google is Sundar Pichai.

What is Larry Page's net worth?

Larry Page's current net worth as estimated by Forbes in April 2022 is $111 bn.

What is Sergey Brin's net worth?

The net worth of Sergey Brin is $107 bn.

What is Google known for?

Google is a multinational conglomerate that is known for the creation of the world's most popular search engine platform.

What year was Google founded?

Google was founded in 1998, on the 4th of September.

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Dune London teamed up with NMPi to boost its Google Shopping revenue by 72%

Dune London teamed up with NMPi to boost its Google Shopping revenue by 72%

Scotiabank makes a winning investment with Google Display & Video 360

Scotiabank makes a winning investment with Google Display & Video 360

Moncler hits 72% rise in revenue with Google Marketing Platform’s digital marketing solution

Moncler hits 72% rise in revenue with Google Marketing Platform’s full stack digital marketing solution

iProspect boosts Thon Hotels' revenue 147% with Google Search Ads 360

iProspect boosts Thon Hotels' revenue 147% with Google Search Ads 360

IPG Mediabrands improves time spent on Le Petit Marseillais website

IPG Mediabrands improves time spent on Le Petit Marseillais website

L’Oréal Paris puts a fresh face forward with Google Display & Video 360

L’Oréal Paris puts a fresh face forward with Google Display & Video 360

Walks of Italy boosts revenue and ROI with data-driven attribution and automated bidding

Walks of Italy boosts revenue and ROI with data-driven attribution and automated bidding

Avon paints a pretty picture with native ad engagement from Google Display & Video 360

Avon paints a pretty picture with native ad engagement from Google Display & Video 360

Zoopla increases leads with Google Search Ads 360

Zoopla increases leads with Google Search Ads 360

Audi’s dynamic creative ads reinforce car customization possibilities

Audi’s dynamic creative ads reinforce car customization possibilities

IKEA boosts ad spend ROI through Google Search Ads 360

IKEA boosts ad spend ROI through Google Search Ads 360

Jellyfish increases agency efficiency with Google Search Ads 360

Jellyfish increases agency efficiency with Google Search Ads 360

Using Google Marketing Platform, Novartis customer experience is the picture of health

Using Google Marketing Platform, Novartis customer experience is the picture of health on a global scale

AIDA Cruises speeds ahead with scaled insights and efficiencies from Google Marketing Platform

AIDA Cruises speeds ahead with scaled insights and efficiencies from Google Marketing Platform

With Google Tag Manager 360, GoPro discovers freedom and adventure in marketing

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Jobs2Careers doubles conversions and increases workflow efficiency using Google Tag Manager

Jobs2Careers doubles conversions and increases workflow efficiency using Google Tag Manager

Airbnb improves vendor data collection to 90% with Google Tag Manager

Airbnb improves vendor data collection to 90% with Google Tag Manager

Rail Europe accelerates page load speed by 20%

Rail Europe accelerates page load speed by 20%

Google Boosts its Employees’ Engagement

Case Study: How Google Boosts its Employees’ Engagement

You might have heard about this mantra: ‘happy employees produce better results.’ this is the mindset of google to keep its employees productive and satisfied. this article explains more..

Let’s say you’re a company providing software development services . If your developer’s team isn’t enthusiastic about their projects every day, you’re not going to achieve excellence. This is productivity’s power. But remember productivity is dependent on the company’s culture.

Why is everyone talking about Google’s culture or work environment? We know that Google is one of the most influential and powerful companies around the globe. The company follows a pretty well unique culture instead of corporate culture.

It has something that every big organisation needs to follow to level up their employees’ engagement or morale. The culture of any company is vital to its success and Google is perfectly right on the track.

It has one sole purpose:  Keep the employees happy and keep up the productivity.

Google has been at number ONE place from the past six years and featured on  Fortune’s  annual list of  ‘Best Companies to Work For.’  And this is not it. Google has also been named as the tech company with the best culture. (Reported by Forbes) Furthermore, Google has a 4.4 rating on  Glassdoor  based on 6000+ employees reviews.   

Google’s morale

This is what the employees of Google answered the questions asked about their work culture.

  • Acknowledged for the efforts?

Yes: 61 % Employees

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No: 39% Employees

  • Job Security?

Very Secure: 34 % Employees

Neutral: 19% Employees

Insecure: 8% Employees

Very insecure: 5% Employees

  • Work Environment?

Positive: 85% Employees

Negative: 15% Employees

  • Excited about going to work daily?

Yes: 80% Employees

No: 20% Employees

So, without further ado, let’s move towards the ways Google uses to boost its employees’ engagement .

“There are way easier places to work, but nobody ever changed the world on 40 hours a week. But if you love what you do, it (mostly) doesn’t feel like work.”- Elon Musk.

How Google Keeps Its Employees Productive And Engaged?

Exclusive perks.

Today, employees want a job in a company that makes them love what they do. Never for financial benefit or intellectual recognition. Yet instead of chance to add to the common good.

The major differentiator is to make a real difference.

Google offers different perks to its employees to show them that they are not only investing in their overall health but their future as well.

  • Chef-prepared free organic food (breakfast, lunch, and dinner);
  • Free dental and health checkup;
  • Free and unlimited dry cleaning;
  • Subsidised massages;
  • Several foosball, ping pong, video games stations;
  • On-site physicians;
  • Gyms/swimming pools memberships;
  • Free haircuts from professional hairdressers;
  • In-house nap pods;
  • Death benefits to deceased employees’ families, and;
  • Hybrid car subsidies.


Google has been one of the very first companies that had a vision of understanding the employees’ needs. It lets its workers have a flexible schedule so that they can work on their terms and enhance creativity and productivity. They have given their employees complete freedom to work in a way that is most suitable to them.

Knowing the employees well

Google had gone through a series of laboratory tests to figure out the productivity of their employees. They had four different experiments that included 700 participants. All the employees were treated to free drinks, fruits, and chocolates or shown a comedy movie clip.

They also enquired some of the participants about the family tragedies as a part of their assessment. After this, they found that happiness is the reason for 12% more productivity.

Google promotes an innovative and diverse organisational culture that has been a part of its employee’s life. A positive creative atmosphere and a safe working space offered by Google to its workers keep them comfortable and happy at work. The concept that being a part of Google is about being smart and wise encourages the employees to think openly and keeps them productive.

Nowadays, there are different creative coworking spaces which are known to be a perfect alternate to a workplace. These spaces are believed to deliver various advantages such as strong networking and increased engagement.

Google’s founders were researchers who had a belief in innovation and freedom of thinking. This is one of the main factors that influenced the style of Google’s leadership.

According to Brassfield, 2013, a positive leadership style stimulates inspiring and motivating employees to develop innovative ideas and inventions.

Keeping people inspired

Future Workplace, in 2017, demonstrated in a study that one of the biggest threats to employees’ engagement is employee burnout. It has also been found out that many proficient workers are often overburdened with the tasks that lead to halted innovation, incomplete work, etc.

What does Google do about keeping its employees productive, inspired, or motivated? Google’s strategy for this is  20% time . Every employee devours up to 20% of his time at work each week on ventures that inspire him.

This concept inspires employees as it allows them to concentrate on things they love or are passionate about. It can prevent burnout, decrease turnover, increase engagement.

Google tablet

Image: Pexels

Career development

Google provides an extensive professional growth program that is successful and creative and guarantees long-term performance for all the employees. The career development program of Google is one that ensures incentives are provided to employees to meet their professional and personal progression.

Google has adopted a unique way to promote the professional development of all its employees. CareerGuru  is a career coaching that provides all the details to the employees by Google’s leaders about working at a specific role in the company.

Creativity Encouragement

The companies that believe in fostering a culture of creativity have happy, satisfied, and motivated employees. Google leads the way in promoting creativity in their employees.

They are free to express their ideas as a solution to any problem. Moreover, employees are encouraged to work wherever they are comfortable in the workplace. Google has a set up where rather than just considering an applicant’s professional background, they look to recruit people who are normally inquisitive and fond of learning.

Trusting Employees

Google believes in trusting their workers because trusted employees feel more valuable. It can also boost the sense of job satisfaction and can also decrease the rate of staff turnover.

In a survey by PwC, reliable employees are 76% more engaged in their work than those in a low trusting environment. Trusted employees are happier and they have the urge to go the extra miles.

Culture based on qualitative data

Google has always been searching out different ways to optimise the performance of its employees while ensuring their happiness and satisfaction. Everything done at Google is based on real data. They use the qualitative and quantitative facts to set up processes and every single rule that is streamlined.

Google has additionally performed researches to discover how much paid time off new mothers would need and ways of building an improvised and better culture.

Fun workplace

Have you ever been allowed to design your own workstation at your company?

Probably not. But Google does it. It lets the employees design their desks or workstations.

When you see the pictures of the workplace, it seems an interesting adult play and work area and not a dull and lifeless space.

Google has always tried to push the boundaries of its workspace.

Collaboration of coworkers

At Google, the employees are urged to collaborate. They have a program called ‘Googler to Googler’ to keep them productive and promote skills such as management, public speaking, orientation, or extracurricular activities.

It is crucial to build a sense of community to create a positive culture. The company has arranged several micro kitchens around the whole workspace where coworkers can have a little chit-chat session. No one has to spend time on deciding where to eat because Google has various break-out spaces for lunch.

Google’s way of listening

Google employees have developed great software and projects that include Gmail, AdSense, Google News, etc. and all these big projects were originated because of its staff productivity approach. Google has a way of collecting employees’ feedback and listening to their suggestions that is  gDNA.

  • The employees utilise a device ‘Google Moderator’ , the result of 20% time strategy, to inquire about something and vote on inquiries of others;
  • The company holds a meeting, every Friday, where the managers react to the most famous inquiries of the week;
  • Leaders or managers utilise a charting instrument called Google-O-Meter to measure the prominence of various worker bits of advice;
  • Leaders likewise plan “Fixits” to comprehend huge, critical issues; and,
  • Fixits are 24-hour runs where team members give their full focus around discovering solutions for explicit issues.

So, can Google teach us anything?

If you are planning to adopt these learnings at your organisation just like Google keeps its employees productive, it’s essential to test the progressions first and measure the results.

It’s a great deal of work, however, the engagement advantages will make the difficult function admirably justified.

About the Author

Usman Akram is a digital marketer and SEO specialist who’s passionate about experimenting and discovering new SEO tactics and strategies to dominate search rankings while bringing an unmatched user-experience. As of now Usman is serving Buzz Interactive , a leading digital marketing agency as the head of SEO.

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Case Study: The Succes of Google Company

  • Categories: Business Success Company Google

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Words: 3488 |

18 min read

Published: Dec 3, 2020

Words: 3488 | Pages: 8 | 18 min read

Table of contents

The history of google, the reasons of success, early recognition and efficiency, the business model, continuous innovation, changes and future.

  • Early recognition and efficiency
  • The business model
  • Continuous innovation
  • Governance structure and company culture.
  • Function for grouping
  • Product for grouping
  • Unique in hiring
  • Celebrates failures
  • Provides employees with a fun working environment
  • Has its core values and mission statement.

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Current: Preparing teenagers for financial responsibility

Current logo

About Current

Current is a financial technology company that offers a debit card and app made for teenagers. The app and card give teens hands-on learning with modern financial tools, and connects them with the people, brands, and experiences they value.

Tell us your challenge. We're here to help.

Current uses google kubernetes engine on google cloud to improve time to market for app development by 400% while eliminating downtime for users of its debit card app., google cloud results.

  • Improves time to market for app development by 400%
  • Eliminates downtime for customers
  • Enables deployment of new services in hours versus days
  • Reduces total cloud hosting costs by 60%

80% reduction in error resolution time

When it comes to developing good financial habits, it pays to start early. Talking to teens about money and monitoring how they spend it helps set them up for a more financially sound future and can have long-term implications for the rest of their lives.

Instead of handing teens cash, many parents are using Current , a Visa chip debit card and smartphone app that helps teens learn how to budget money. Teens can set savings goals, check their balances, earn money by completing chores, and even give to charity. Parents can set an automated allowance, create and approve chores, and easily track their children’s spending with real-time alerts.

To grow, Current must keep its app secure, reliable, and high performing. As a startup, the company started by developing and hosting its app on a simple infrastructure, managing virtual machines with manual processes. As its user base surpassed 25,000 daily active customers, Current began to notice performance bottlenecks, particularly with the Neo4j graph database it uses to store and expose relationships among users, family members, and their debit cards and connected banks. Running the database on a shared application server made it difficult to measure the cost of the required CPU time and memory footprint. Current also lacked a robust way to log and profile the database.

Current considered using a hosted Neo4j solution, but worried that it would limit its ability to deploy in different availability zones as the company grew. Current was also concerned that a hosted solution would drastically increase costs.

“Since moving to Google Cloud, we’ve been able to sustainably grow our user base 7x to more than 175,000 users, and we haven’t experienced any downtime for our services. We’ve also received a lot of collaboration and support from Google, which we weren’t getting from other cloud providers.”

After a short stint with another cloud provider, Current decided to build its own graph database cluster on Google Cloud . The highly available implementation—including a monitoring agent and backup agent—came in at half the cost of a hosted solution or alternative cloud provider according to Trevor Marshall, Chief Technology Officer at Current. Once the engineering team saw the power and reliability of Google Cloud, Current began exploring deeper integration with Google Cloud services.

“Since moving to Google Cloud, we’ve been able to sustainably grow our user base 7x to more than 175,000 users, and we haven’t experienced any downtime for our services,” says Trevor. “We’ve also received a lot of collaboration and support from Google, which we weren’t getting from other cloud providers.”

Accelerating time-to-market

Current now hosts most of its applications in Docker containers, including its business-critical GraphQL API, using Google Kubernetes Engine to automate cluster deployment and management of containerized applications while keeping applications available. Container images are stored on Google Container Registry for fast, scalable retrieval. Integrated logging with Google Stackdriver makes it easy to identify issues, and Current can scale up or down as needed to keep performance high and costs low, with zero downtime for users.

“Moving to Google Cloud reduced our error resolution times by 80% and improved our time to market for app development by 400%. We can iterate quickly, find issues, and redeploy. There’s no reason whatsoever to run Kubernetes outside of Google Cloud, because Google does such a good job.”

With a fully managed environment for containerized applications, Current can deploy new services in hours instead of days while keeping its staffing footprint small. When the company does add team members, they can focus on app development instead of managing and troubleshooting infrastructure.

“Moving to Google Cloud reduced our error resolution times by 80% and improved our time to market for app development by 400%,” says Trevor. “We can iterate quickly, find issues, and redeploy. There’s no reason whatsoever to run Kubernetes outside of Google Cloud, because Google does such a good job.”

Current has released a variety of compelling new features since moving to Google Cloud, including a referral program to recruit more customers and an improved notification feed to inspire more conversations about finances between parents and teens. It also restructured its app to highlight users’ favorite features, including a dedicated allowance section and improved chore management. The new app also communicates with Current’s Kubernetes Engine hosted GraphQL API. Current’s use of GraphQL greatly improves performance by minimizing the data that is sent between the app and the backend, and enables Current’s front-end engineers to share code, increasing developer efficiency.

Improving data and network security

As a financial technology company, Current is always focused on providing the highest levels of security for its customers. Google Cloud facilitates the use of encryption to help protect customer data at rest and in transit to help ensure that customer data is safe when outside the physical boundaries not controlled by Google or on behalf of Google.

For publicly accessible applications, Current configures an ingress resource on Kubernetes clusters to make context-aware load balancing decisions. This ingress also provides a reverse proxy function between users and Current's private network. This helps ensure that no external entity can reach Current’s Google Compute Engine instance fleet directly. Google Cloud also provides Current with the means to forward traffic outside of its private without exposing instances to the public Internet. This gives Current the means to utilize other managed services such MongoDB Atlas, while maintaining a trusted platform.

“Security is one of the biggest benefits of Google Cloud and Kubernetes Engine,” says Trevor. “It was easy for us to configure our environment so that we avoid exposing any public IP addresses for our clusters. When we deploy a new service, we have a recipe that observes security best practices.”

“Google Cloud has allowed us to be highly available, scalable, and cost-efficient, helping us grow from an ambitious startup into a financial technology innovator. We’ve built trust with the families we serve because we’ve been able to offer a great experience.”

Powering a digital workforce

When Current was founded in 2015, the company standardized on Google Workspace for communication and collaboration, using tools such as Gmail and Google Docs , Sheets , and Slides to keep productivity high. Google Workspace administration is so easy that Trevor still handles it all, in addition to leading the company’s tech strategy as CTO.

“Our business depends on Google Workspace,” he says. “It’s simple to use, yet feature-rich and very cost effective. Adding new employees takes a couple of minutes, and they can get to work right away. I can’t imagine using anything else.”

Shaping financial futures

By making it easy for teens and parents to manage and talk about money, Current is preparing a new generation to navigate one of the most challenging aspects of adulthood: financial responsibility. The company’s user base is growing by 20% every month with no signs of slowing, and its Android app just began trending on Google Play. Current is also learning to better manage its own finances. “By avoiding the cost of a hosted Neo4j solution and optimizing resource utilization with Kubernetes Engine, we reduced total cloud hosting costs by 60%," adds Trevor.

“Google Cloud has allowed us to be highly available, scalable, and cost-efficient, helping us grow from an ambitious startup into a financial technology innovator,” says Trevor. “We’ve built trust with the families we serve because we’ve been able to offer a great experience.”

Communications and Media: Case Study of Google Company


Sustaining successful operations in any business is normally a universal confrontation that investors and managers experience as the business world, which is gradually experiencing an augmentation in market competition and customer focus.

Precisely, it costs a business some significant amount of resources, work force, and time to expand exponentially and more importantly, to gain global reputation upon which customers can build a permanent trust in its operations.

For several decades, the world has been witnessing a massive influx of approaches, stratagems, and policies enacted within organisations to improve their efficiency primarily to gain customer satisfaction and employee involvement that subsequently enhance corporate image.

A number of organisations in the current decades within developed nations have engaged in an incessant competition to woo customers to consider using their services or buy their goods.

Google Company is perhaps among the most renowned and praised global companies. This study seeks to examine why Google ranks among world’s best companies.

Background of Google Company

Perhaps the most outstanding achiever in the global business realm is the most renowned international search engine company known as ‘Google Company.’

The global population and researchers in specific have remained speculative of the uniqueness of this company that has left little known about itself within the public.

Google is one of the global companies that have managed to demonstrate an exceptional success within the shortest period ever (Great Place to Work Institute 2007).

Google Inc. started its operations in the year 1998, when two inventors, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, ingeniously combined efforts to develop the Google search engine.

Larry Page and Sergey Brin “first met at Stanford University in 1995, and in a span of one year, they had managed to develop a search engine Backrub that utilised links to determine the importance of individual WebPages” (Google Inc. 2013, Para.15).

With the support of financier and Sun co-founder, Andy Bechtolsheim, who offered approximately $100,000, Google Inc. officially began its operations in September 1998.

The modern Google Inc

The meeting of the two innovators was never in vain. Immediately after 1998, Google Inc. started to grow exponentially to the reckoning of global reputation when ‘Google doodle’ emerged and subsequently in 2000, AdWords came up.

Within four years, viz. on April Fools Day in 2004, the company introduced Gmail to support speedy search, large data storage, and storing of threaded messages (Google Inc. 2013).

After acquiring digital mapping company keyhole, the company got underway with Google Earth Google Maps in 2005 that currently feature in enhancing transit directions, live trafficking, and street-level imagery as Google Earth allow users to explore the moon and the ocean (Google Inc. 2013).

In 2006, the company made life easier by purchasing the online video sharing site YouTube that allows self-broadcasting, before the little green robot arrived in 2007 that has currently dominated features of several smart phones.

Finally, in June 2011, the company introduced Google+ project that has enhanced social networking globally. Currently, Google Inc. employs over 30,000 workers continentally.

Google Inc. Ranks among World’s Best Companies

Being an Internet communication and technology company that users consult on their daily searches and networking activities, it is beyond doubt that Google Inc. is the most popular company (Place to Work Institute 2007).

Despite a growing number of studies that are developing interests in determining corporate growth and performance improvement within the business world, Google Inc. has received very little attention from researchers and analysts.

Nonetheless, some significant studies that have been developing interest in determining world’s most attractive employers and organisations have seen some imperativeness of focusing on Google Inc.

From the latest global reports developed by these researchers, Google Inc. has constantly been growing to the extent of scooping topmost positions among world’s best multinational companies.

According to studies undertaken by the Great Place to Work Institute (2007), with approximately 440 companies applying for the topmost global ranking and best employers, Google Inc. has featured at the topmost, as business and engineering companies prefer to work for the company in three consecutive years in the United States. See appendix figure 1 A, B & C.

Factors making Google Inc best Employer

Sources from the most recent researches have been concluding that Google Inc. is currently ranking top within the business and engineering indexes as well as the most attractive employers among several other multinational companies within and outside the United States.

Despite research on giant organisations and greatest innovators declining in importance for some period, extensive empirical evidence is augmenting across the world about greatest organisations in terms of how firms observe satisfaction in all-round life matters.

The talent market for “business career seekers remains dominated by the professional services firms, known for being great places to launch a career, and by companies that offer a new working culture in a dynamic environment” (Araujo 2011, p.1).

While trying to comprehend the reasons behind the successfulness of Google Inc., numerous factors should feature in this matter including its operation styles, talent attraction and employee management/involvement, customer focus, corporate social responsibility, as well as strategic planning and management.

Operational styles for Google Inc.

Organisation’s operational techniques are normally innermost to the achievement of high standards and customer orientation that subsequently results to improving organisational reputation.

Google Inc. has focused on a number of operational techniques that improve their performance and within such parameters; Google Inc. has an operational culture upon which all Googlers believe that the company can achieve its stated vision, mission, and objectives (Google Inc. 2013).

The company believes that human beings differ intellectually not in divisions, races, wealth class, or even socio-cultural backgrounds and for any company to progress, it must understand that organisations realise success through recognising the efforts of all stakeholders (Google Inc 2013).

As stated from its website, “we strive to maintain the open culture often associated with start-ups, in which everyone is a hands-on contributor and feels comfortable sharing ideas and opinions” (Google Inc. 2013, Para.18).

Survey examining employees’ perception about culture revealed that about 95 per cent of them agree that Google has been in the vanguard in spearheading organisational culture.

In examining operational style in Google Inc., innovation within the operational engineers is what has been putting this company in topmost ranks within Multinational organisations (See fig. 2).

For any growing company, a mindset towards innovation is a great enabler of corporate image and through diversification of product and most specifically service delivery makes Google Inc. a great company (Spector, Norvig & Petrov 2009).

Inasmuch as competition is stiffening across the world, innovation has enabled Google Inc.’s engineers to invest in an assortment of products attracting and targeting all forms of technology consumers.

From simply Google search engine, the innovators have come up with Google map, YouTube video streaming, Google plus social media, Google software, and Gmail mailing services to smaller applications including the latest android project that has captured the interests of million consumers continentally (Google Inc 2013).

More interestingly, with highly talented workforce, Google has ventured in the educational paradigm and changed almost everything within the academic research in what they term as ‘Hybrid Research at Google’, thus making studying lively and interesting.

Talent attraction and employee management/involvement

Google Inc. is among the global companies that have acknowledged the importance of recognising employee’s involvement, satisfaction, and appreciating human capital and human labour within their culture thus facilitating in acquiring global repute (Google Inc. 2013).

In almost all its operations in all nations where it harbours offices, Google Inc has been ranking top. Drawing evidence from Googlers located in Canada, where Google Inc. still ranks top in service provision and innovation, the human resource manager (Mr. Woods) made it clear in an interview.

He noted, “Google makes it possible for employees to turn their great ideas into products used by people all over the world…the organisation believes in democracy at work as it concentrates in empowering workers and serving with a very flat hierarchical model” (Burchell 2012, p.3).

Presumably, employee management is not easy, but Google Inc. has managed to enhance democracy in decision-making, policy assimilation, and product designing with employees working on products in autonomous groups and teams that make their own decisions.

In the quest to hire and retain pinnacle talents in all its organisations, Google Inc. management a very talented workforce of about 30,000 Googlers globally with exceptional abilities in developing and managing advanced software within the dynamic and complicated trendy market (Great Place to Work Institute 2007).

The company has been in the forefront in providing employees with professional support through enhancement of skills and professionalism that has been achievable through providing workforce with training opportunities, extroverted resources, and equipment improvement designed in best technologies.

Among its ten viewpoints, Google Inc. management team anchors on conviction that ‘one can be serious without wearing suits’ in the sense that managers must trust their workforce, invest heavily in talent development and nurturing, as well as appreciating their efforts without making an allowance for egoism (Google Inc. 2013).

Having the focus to enhance employee involvement and motivation as well as considering employee empowerment factors such as encouraging teamwork, Google Inc has been the best workplace (See figure 3).

Customer focus & corporate social responsibility

While trying to focus on the successfulness of Google Inc. in the business world achievers paradigm, two things are evident, viz. the aspects of customer focus and corporate social responsibility.

Since its emergence in about a decade ago, Google Inc. has concentrated in improving its rapport with customers and the community by ensuring that customers receive the best services and the communities surrounding them receive support in their communal growth (Google Inc. 2013).

Among the organisational cultures bestowed in Google Inc., customer focus has been one of the integral secrets that put the company in the Global reputation with one of its topmost values indicating that Google Inc. focuses on customers before anything else.

From its website, Larry Page and Sergey Brin affirm, “Whether we are designing a new Internet browser or a new tweak to the look of the homepage, we take great care to ensure that they will ultimately serve you” (Google Inc 2013).

Customer focus in Google Inc. exceeds organisational ambitions.

None of the global greatest achievers has managed to succeed without prioritising on respecting and honouring the assistance provided by the surrounding societies.

Google has been ranking top in maintaining corporate social responsibility since it decided to venture in software engineering and global networking and almost all communities surrounding its offices admit that Google Inc. plays an imperative role in societal growth.

Google has been supporting “free gourmet or epicure program involving meals inclusive of breakfasts, lunches, and evening meals almost everyday to all its employees, while extending its support by bettering local rapport through assisting regional anglers and farmers” (Great Place to Work Institute 2007, Para. 16).

Google has been offering humanitarian aid including supporting Second Harvest Food Bank that saw them spend approximately $50,000, and $500 take-out meal for new parents in the organisation.

Driven by the value that an organisation can succeed without engaging in any form of evil, both employees and the communities surrounding Google Inc. are supporting its corporate growth.

Strategic planning and management

Organisational management and in essence strategic management has been key to the discussions growing within determining management factors that contribute to organisational success or failure (Jaruzelski et al. 2012).

Stratagems and policymaking within Google Inc. have been core issues that have enhanced strategic focus of the company thus making it feature among top multinational achievers.

Strategic planning always begins with how the organisation builds its hierarchical structure and from their management structure Google Inc. has a strong leadership structure stretching from executive officials, board of directors, to other significant senior leadership that oversee consistency and performance (Google Inc. 2013).

These highly qualified professionals engage collective and common goal oriented decision and policymaking processes that enable Google Inc. to feature top among other multinational corporations.

Another integral feature of strategic management is having mission, vision and other focus tools that drive organisations towards success. Google’s mission is “to organise the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful” (Google Inc. 2013).

The corporate world has been speculative of the integral reason that places some organisations within the topmost achievers worldwide with secrets of companies such as Google Inc. remaining a quandary to many.

Google Inc. has featured within the world’s most attractive employers severally with the notion of employee engagement, customer focus, and corporate social responsibility being some major success secrets that put Google Inc. among top global achievers.

More interestingly, Google Inc. has remained determined in integrating customer and employee related factors in its operations, thus making it the most preferred employer within a short span of only one decade.

Bearing in mind that the technological paradigm is full of competition and challenges, Google Inc. has remained dedicated towards investing in nurturing the available talents and attracting new ones with a continuum of expansive resources available for professional growth and development.

Engaging in improving its rapport with the public through extensive involvement in corporate social responsibility has been just like fun to Googlers with matters involving communal growth prioritised.

Reference List

Araujo, J. 2011, Google is the World’s Most Attractive Employer . Web.

Burchell, M. 2012, Canada’s Best Workplaces: The results of the 2012 Great Place to Work Institute surveys are in . Web.

Google Inc.: about Google Company 2013 . Web.

Great Place to Work Institute: Why is Google so great? 2007. Web.

Jaruzelski, B., Loehr, J. V., Holman, R. 2012, The 2012 Global Innovation 1000 Key Findings . Web.

RepTrak: The World’s Most Reputable Companies: A Reputation study with Consumers in 15 Countries 2012. Web.

Spector, A., Norvig, P. & Petrov, S. 2009, Google’s Hybrid Approach to Research . Web.

Figure 1: Google Inc Rank topmost preferred employee

Ranking in Top Ten

Google Inc Rank top-10 most preferred employee

Source: Araujo

Ranking in Top Fifty (2011 report)

Google Inc Rank top-50 most preferred employee 2011

Ranking in Top 50 (2012 report)

Google Inc Rank top-50 most preferred employee 2012

Source: RepTrak, p.10

Figure 2: Google Inc among top service providers and innovative companies

Google Inc among top service providers and innovative companies

Source: RepTrak

Figure 3: Google Inc is the best workplace according to seven key dimensions

Google Inc is the best workplace according to seven key dimensions

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IvyPanda. (2021, July 30). Communications and Media: Case Study of Google Company. https://ivypanda.com/essays/communications-and-media-case-study-of-google-company/

"Communications and Media: Case Study of Google Company." IvyPanda , 30 July 2021, ivypanda.com/essays/communications-and-media-case-study-of-google-company/.

IvyPanda . (2021) 'Communications and Media: Case Study of Google Company'. 30 July.

IvyPanda . 2021. "Communications and Media: Case Study of Google Company." July 30, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/communications-and-media-case-study-of-google-company/.

1. IvyPanda . "Communications and Media: Case Study of Google Company." July 30, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/communications-and-media-case-study-of-google-company/.


IvyPanda . "Communications and Media: Case Study of Google Company." July 30, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/communications-and-media-case-study-of-google-company/.

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Home » Information Systems Management » Case Study: Success Story of Google Search Engine

Case Study: Success Story of Google Search Engine

One of the most popular search engines is Google. Unknown to many, the term is coined by Milton Sirotta, the nephew of Edward Kasner who is an American Mathematician. The term is in reference with the number which is represented by the number 1 followed by 100 zeros. The same utilization of the term reflects the mission of the company to deliver immense and infinite resources to be available online.

Success Story of Google Search Engine Case Study

The founders of the company, Larry Page and Sergey Brin , were not in good terms back then when they met as graduate students of computer science in Stanford University in 1995. They used to argue on everything that they are discussing. The strong personalities always clashed. But eventually, they have found a common ground. The retrieving of various yet important information from massive set data has been the big challenge that they were up to at that time. So, on January 0f 1996, they began the collaboration of BackRub, the name they have formulated because of the unique approach to back links to a given website. Larry procured the use of low-end PCs instead of the big yet very expensive machines. After a year, the news about the newest search engine spread around the campus. Then, they began to search for the perfection of their technology. They were encouraged to put up their service of a search engine company by themselves.

They talked to Andy Bechtolsheim , one of the founders of the Sun Microsystems , after the demo, he thought that Google has a lot of potential so he decided to lend them $100,000. The initial investment has been raised to almost $1million and became their road to success. In September of 1998, the Google Inc. opened up in Menlo Park, California.

Still in beta, and was already called Google.com, they were receiving 10,000 search queries each day. Then, this has moved Google in the world.

Basically, what is Google? The improvement of the different ways that people can find, connect and use information is what Google is focused on. They are maintaining a very large index of websites online in inclusion are the content and by utilizing the search engine, the information can be generated freely and almost instantly to everyone with the Internet connection. The revenue of Google is primarily from the cost-effective advertising online. The different business in the world is utilizing the AdWords, a program that is promoting the products and services with the targeted users. Furthermore, the Google AdSense is being utlized by thousands of third-party websites to deliver the AdWords ads that generate the revenue and improves the user experience.

On the other hand, the mission statement of Google is organizing the different information in the world and makes it accessible, available and useful to the users. Basically, the mission of Google is obtaining different information by investigation, study, measurement numerical quantities and even data. This has been proved by their PageRank, Link Measurement, Algorithm, and Profiling. As of today, Google become one of the most widely known brands around the world from the mouth of all the satisfied users.

The mission of Google is primarily focused on the users. Ultimately, it is because to become very profitable, the needs of the users must be accomplished. This is due to the fact the word-of-mouth promotion is very strong specifically if the user gain a high and quality user experience. They have incorporated their three key commitments. First, they will be providing useful and important information as part of the search results independent of the financial gain of the company. It means that they will be providing the search results objectively at no price to the businesses; they will not be accepting any kinds of payment for the inclusion in the search results. Second, they will be promoting the most essential and useful advertising in Google. The ads will not be annoying to the users and so as not to interrupt their businesses online. If ever there will be monetary influenced on the advertisements, they will be informing the users. Lastly, Google will never stop to improve and enhance the user experience in the areas of their command, the search engine and others in the information technology aspects.

The mission of Google is basis of their success. In inclusion is the critical procurement of the long-term value. The principle of the company in not compromising the user experience in exchange of a short-term financial gain has added to their success in the world.

Through the implementation of the mission of Google, they have reached a progress in user service such as utilizing more than 300 factors in ranking websites, the online contents vary 20 percent every month, and the world’s information is currently 10% online. In addition, they will check millions of library projects to make them accessible right through the browsers.

True enough, putting up all the world’s information could take at least 300 years. But Google is fast fixing everything that could hinder their service and eliminate the bugs that might lengthen the 300 years. In figures, the Google engineers, comprising of 70 percent in the company are all working in the different search related problems. A lot of employees are standing tall in improving the automatic translation tools.

The clients of Google is basically the hundreds of thousands businesses who are up to advertising their very own products. They are utilizing the Google AdWords that allow them to reach their targeted millions of users around the world. In inclusion, their products are centered on continuous technology innovation with frequent beta version for improvements. Once they are satisfied with the results, they will be removing the “beta” label. Some of the Google products are the Google Web Search, Google Desktop, Google Adwords, Gmail, Google AdSense, Google Earth, Google News, Google Finance, Google Maps and the Google Enterprise.

In the proliferation of their service to the users in delivering the information of the world right in the browsers, Google has meet up several opposition from other companies, groups and individuals. Google has been scanning libraries to provide the different information over the Internet. In doing so, they are open in the copyright infringement. People are stating that Google should back down in scanning without the proper permissions. Even they are in a solid ground to do so, they must be putting things off until they can think of a way to have an automated way of seeking the author’s permission.

Personally, the success of Google is immeasurable, but the let’s just do it attitude must be eliminated so as not to have any bad tag as the copyright bad guy. The protection of Google to the copyright of the things they published over the Internet is weak. The promotion that they are after has been reached but the digital copies were not really secured. Anyone who is familiar with YouTube must know this. May companies are in protest since the site is tolerating piracy as it published in the web the different movies, television parts. True enough, Google must find a way to minimize and further eliminate the massive infringements in YouTube, in inclusion is for them to formulate a method wherein the published materials can have an automated way of seeking the necessary information from the authors.

By following up to the philosophy of the company which is never settling for the best but instead focus on perfection, Google has reached a status in the business and information technology world. Google’s goal is to primarily improve further to a higher level of service to everyone seeking the world’s information everywhere.

To top it all, the persistence of the company for continuous excellence and innovation makes them the leading standard. The company has helped to redefine the value of how the individuals, businesses and technologist see the Internet.

Despite the fact that there are Google products that has nothing to do with search technology, the truth remains that these help funds Google in maintaining and organizing the search engine. The path that Google is taking has been a very good start in the promotion of accessible information. True enough, there would be opposition from another groups or entity, but in the improvements of their technology, standing in the solid legal grounds will make them come out clean. The best thing that they can do is to minimize and then eliminate the not-so-good features in their services. Thus, it would better improve their integrity, at the same time, their financial gain.

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How Microsoft’s Legal Legacy Shapes the Antitrust Case Against Google

Lawyers for the Justice Department and Google as well as the judge in a monthslong trial have invoked the landmark case against Microsoft from the 1990s.

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Judge Amit Mehta, wearing a muted orange-patterned tie, speaking behind a lectern and gesturing with his hand.

By Steve Lohr

Steve Lohr covered the Microsoft antitrust trial.

Antitrust trials are full of long stretches of detailed, often tedious testimony punctuated by telling moments. In the two-month Google antitrust trial that is nearing its conclusion, one of those moments came in a brief exchange in October.

While cross-examining a witness for the Justice Department, John Schmidtlein, Google’s lead trial lawyer, tried to describe how this suit differed from the landmark antitrust case brought against Microsoft in the 1990s. The barriers to competition in search today, Mr. Schmidtlein said, are less daunting than Microsoft’s stranglehold on personal computer software.

The judge cut him off. “Let’s move on,” said Judge Amit P. Mehta, who wrote in an opinion earlier in the year that he would use the Microsoft case as a guiding framework. “I think I can figure out what the Microsoft case was about.”

The antitrust fight against Microsoft in the 1990s has loomed over the government’s showdown with Google. The Justice Department and a group of states say the search giant is running the Microsoft monopoly playbook, just in a different tech market, while Google argues that it is hardly as powerful as Microsoft was back in the day.

The Microsoft antitrust case is also the lone example of the government’s embarking on — and winning — a sweeping suit against a tech giant for illegally protecting its monopoly. Microsoft combined old-style practices, like bullying industry partners to stifle competition, with newer ideas in economics.

One of those new ideas included the dynamics of digital markets, which reinforce the power of a dominant company. In tech markets, there can be a powerful “network effect” as a product or service becomes more valuable as more people use it, attracting still more users and investment. Once on a digital platform, users tend not to switch. These concepts of digital platform economics are crucial to the Google case.

While the eventual ruling by Judge Mehta, who was appointed by President Barack Obama, will hinge largely on his assessment of the facts and evidence presented in the trial, his decision must also be built on the precedents established by previous cases.

“Microsoft is his legal road map,” said Andrew I. Gavil, an antitrust expert and law professor at Howard University.

Testimony in the trial, which began in September, is expected to end by Thanksgiving. A ruling by the judge — a bench trial, without a jury — will come next year.

The government’s argument focuses on the power of data and the notion that the search business is an accelerating flywheel, which becomes an insurmountable barrier to rivals. More users generate more data to train Google’s search algorithms, improving the quality of its search, attracting more users and advertisers.

Data does matter, Google’s lawyers have said, but it has diminishing returns. Microsoft’s Bing, for example, has plenty of data, but Google is the runaway leader in search, it says, because of its greater investment in smart people to create better software. Its defense has largely been a parade of company engineers and executives testifying to the time, work and money that go into improving its search engine.

In another echo of the Microsoft antitrust fight, contracts that Google signed with other tech companies to protect its business have emerged as a key part of the trial. In both cases, the government said the contracts were illegal.

Microsoft’s contracts were deals with personal computer makers and internet services to not offer browsing software from Netscape, the early leader. Microsoft feared that the browser — a layer of software on top of Microsoft’s operating system — could undermine the powerful hold its Windows software had on the tech industry.

The Microsoft contracts were take-it-or-leave-it deals. PC makers worried that Microsoft might refuse to give them access to its Windows desktop software or charge them more for it. Windows dominated the PC market and served as the gateway to the internet before smartphones.

Google’s contracts are different. They involve big payments to Apple, Samsung, Mozilla and others to make Google the featured search engine on their devices and browsers. Google paid $26.3 billion for such pay-for-default deals in 2021, the company disclosed in testimony. The government argues that Google paid so much to illegally exclude competitors and potential rivals, effectively buying much of the search market and hoarding still more data.

“So Google did it with carrots instead of sticks,” said Harry First, an antitrust expert at the New York University School of Law. At one point in the trial, Judge Mehta called the default payment deals the “heart of the case.”

Google argues that it competes fairly for the default deals, that its payments to device makers can lower costs to consumers, that it makes it easy for users to switch search engines — and that its grip on the market pales in comparison with Microsoft’s chokehold in the PC era.

Antitrust experts add that Microsoft’s campaign was mainly intended to stifle a potential rival, and that it had little pro-competitive justification for its acts.

“The conduct was harsher in Microsoft; it’s more subtle with Google,” said Herbert Hovenkamp, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania’s Carey Law School.

If the government and states prevail in the Google case, the question becomes: What will Judge Mehta determine is the appropriate remedy?

The remedy phase comes after a judge decides there has been a violation, and then determines what action should be taken to try to restore competition. That could involve another round of court hearings, with testimony from both sides.

Banning the pay-for-default deals would be an obvious step, and that would mirror the outcome in the Microsoft case. In the end, Microsoft was prohibited from making exclusive deals that thwarted competition and was ordered to disclose more technical information to potential rivals.

There are already calls for stronger sanctions to encourage competition this time. Tim Wu, a professor of law at Columbia University and former technology policy official in the Biden administration, calls for ordering Google to spin off its Chrome browser, a major distribution channel for its search engine, in addition to outlawing Google’s payment deals.

Yet Judge Mehta would necessarily be guided by legal precedent — and by Microsoft most of all.

“The government has crafted this case to look as much like Microsoft as they could,” said Mr. First of New York University. “To push the boundary in the remedy phase would be a real challenge.”

An earlier version of this article misspelled the surname of an antitrust expert and law professor at Howard University. He is Andrew I. Gavil, not Gavel.

How we handle corrections

Steve Lohr covers technology, economics and work force issues. He was part of the team awarded the Pulitzer Prize for explanatory reporting in 2013. More about Steve Lohr

DOJ’s Google Monopoly Case Explained With Six Key Documents

By Leah Nylen

Leah Nylen

The most damning evidence in the US antitrust trial against Alphabet Inc. ’s Google that concluded in Washington this week came not from the parade of witnesses from Apple Inc. , Microsoft Corp. and other companies, but from internal documents.

During the 10-week trial, the Justice Department used emails, slides and other records to illustrate how Google’s lavish payments to other companies ensured its search engine became the preselected option almost everywhere people access the internet.

Antitrust enforcers allege that Google illegally maintained a monopoly over search, where it controls nearly 90% of online queries, through those payments to smartphone makers, web browsers and wireless carriers. That dominance allowed Google to raise prices on advertisers without consequences, they argue, and delay innovations and privacy features that consumers want when they search online.

The fate of the world’s fourth-largest company is now in the hands of US District Court Judge Amit Mehta , who delayed closing arguments until May and likely won’t have a ruling for several months. If he finds Google violated antitrust law, another proceeding will determine remedies — including a possible breakup of the company.

The 10-week trial featured testimony from Apple executives, Google Chief Executive Officer Sundar Pichai and Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella . But major revelations came in the internal documents and emails, only a small portion of which have been made public.

Here are six documents that best illustrate the Justice Department’s case:

1) Google spends $26 billion to be the default

case study about google company

Google pays other companies to set its search engine as the default by sharing a portion of the money it makes through advertising. The exact percentage differs between contracts and Google has maintained both the rate and amount it pays to particular companies is confidential.

Being the default search engine gives Google access to more data than its rivals, allowing it to improve its algorithms and results and making it even harder for competitors to attract users.

Mehta allowed the Justice Department to reveal how much the company has paid overall by year — in 2021, it paid $26.3 billion out of the $146.4 billion earned from search advertising, or roughly 18%. The number has increased since 2014, when it paid $7.1 billion of $46.8 billion it brought in via search advertising, or about 15%. The Justice Department alleges Google’s growing payments for its default status demonstrate how important they are to its continued dominance in search.

For comparison, the market capitalization of Warner Bros Discovery Inc. , Delta Air Lines Inc. and 215 other companies in the S&P 500 Index are lower than Google’s 2021 default payments. According to the International Monetary Fund , 97 countries in the world including Haiti, Albania and Nicaragua also have a smaller gross domestic products than that.

Google’s biggest payment every year is to Apple: Google’s CEO testified in a separate antitrust trial that the payment was “well over $10 billion” last year. Both Google and Apple have objected to revealing details about the agreement publicly, though a witness accidentally disclosed that the search giant pays out 36% of revenue made from search advertising on Macs, the iPhone and iPads.

Google argues that the payments help support the Android ecosystem , which competes against Apple’s iPhone. And rivals like Microsoft have long paid for their products to be pre-installed and set as the default on computers.

2) Google makes more than $100 billion from search ads

case study about google company

Google’s search advertising – the text and shopping promotions that appear at the top of a results page in response to user queries – are the company’s most lucrative business. About two-thirds of Google’s total revenue comes from search ads, executives testified at the trial, amounting to more than $100 billion in 2020.

Michael Roszak, a Google finance executive, prepared notes for a 2017 speech that the Justice Department alleges offers insight into how the company’s employees see competition. He wrote that search advertising is a lucrative business model only rivaled by criminal drug or contraband operations. Google has the luxury of being able to ignore demand pressures and focus on the supply side, or advertising revenue, he wrote.

Witnesses from JPMorgan Chase & Co. , Home Depot Inc. , Expedia Inc. and Booking Holdings Inc. testified at the trial about the importance of Google’s search ads to reach consumers. Several said the costs of their search ads on Google have ballooned in recent years as the company changed the rules for auctions used to set pricing. And they don’t have good alternatives to Google — the first place many people go to start looking for something online.

Google argued that Roszak’s notes were only part of a training and don’t represent the company’s views. It also contests the idea that its search advertising is a “must-have,” arguing that it competes with Amazon.com Inc. , Meta Platforms Inc. and ByteDance Ltd. ’s TikTok.

3) Google’s most important default deal is with Apple

case study about google company

Google first entered into a deal to be the default search engine in Apple’s Safari browser in 2002. Today that’s the most important of Google’s default deals, since it sets the search engine for the iPhone, the most-used smartphone in the US.

The most recent iteration – negotiated in 2016 between Pichai and Apple dealmaker Eddy Cue – includes a provision that the two would “support and defend” the pact against antitrust scrutiny.

Notes from a 2018 meeting between Pichai and Apple CEO Tim Cook shown in court said of Google’s collaboration with Apple on search: “Our vision is that we work as if we are one company.” That line raises red flags for antitrust enforcers since Google and Apple are each other’s biggest rivals in the smartphone industry and should be competing.

When he testified in late October, Google’s Pichai said he doesn’t recall making that statement and that the company fiercely competes with Apple even though they are partners on search.

4) Being the default matters because most people don’t switch

case study about google company

Google’s default position on a web browser or mobile phone discourages people from switching to rival search engines, the Justice Department alleges.

And Google is very aware of the value of that key position. In 2007, Google chief economist Hal Varian called the default home page a “powerful strategic weapon in the search battle.” In 2014, Google determined that Android users “rarely stray away from pre-loaded apps.” And in 2015, Google described potentially losing the deal with Apple for it to remain the default search engine on Safari browsers as a “code red.”

The government’s main economic witness – Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Michael Whinston – calculated that Google’s agreements lock-up about 50% of the search queries made in the US. (That number doesn’t include another 20% of US searches made through Google’s Chrome browser, which has its search engine as the default.)

Using information on when people have shifted their defaults – such as when Apple dropped Google Maps as its default service on iPhones in favor of its own app – he calculated that about 33% of all US searches will always go to the default. That means a rival search engine could only ever hope to garner about 17% of US search traffic because of Google’s deals.

Google’s economic expert Kevin Murphy contested this calculation, arguing that Whinston was wrong to use the Apple Maps example for his calculations. He also contested the idea that Google’s contracts lock-out competitors since companies like Microsoft and Yahoo could compete for the default themselves.

5) “Google is magical” because user data fuels search

case study about google company

Search engines rely on users to improve their results. Eric Lehman, a 17-year Google veteran who worked on search ranking, gave presentations internally on how the company’s search engine works titled “Google is magical.”

The “key” to Google’s magic is the user information that flows back to the search engine, according to Lehman. “As people interact with search, their actions teach us about the world,” he wrote. “For example, a click might tell us that an image was better than a web result.”

Google logs that information – not just what a user clicks on, but how far they scroll down a page or across a carousel, whether their mouse hovers over a specific result and some other details like the person’s location.

“The source of Google’s magic is this two-way dialogue with users,” Lehman’s presentation concludes. “With every query, we give some knowledge and get a little back.”

The Justice Department argues that Google’s contracts ensure not only that its search engine gets the most user data – 16 times as much as its next closest competitor — that data stream also keeps its rivals from improving their search results and competing effectively, enforcers say.

Google rejects the idea that user data is necessary for a search engine today because of advances in technology. Lehman and other Google witnesses have testified that user interaction information is less crucial because of the improvements that can be gained from artificial intelligence and machine learning.

6) Google told employees what not to say

case study about google company

Google was founded in 1998, one month before the Justice Department’s famed antimonopoly trial against Microsoft. In part because of that, the company has long been concerned about antitrust scrutiny, so much so that the Justice Department alleges it taught employees to “Communicate with Care” – adding lawyers to email chains in order to shield discussions from government review and avoiding certain words in written communications.

In one company presentation , Google employees were instructed not to use terms like “crush,” “kill,” “hurt” or “block” when talking about rivals. They should also avoid “lock-in,” “market,” “bundle” or “tie.” And when discussing competitors, they should include a lot of them. “If you really need to list a group of competitors in a particular area, list as many as possible (or make clear that it’s a partial list). It’s just wrong to say that we’re dominant in or control any line of business.”

The Justice Department alleges that these actions may have hidden evidence that could have proven Google’s alleged antitrust violations.

Google denies that it sought to hide evidence, saying that it legitimately encouraged employees to seek legal guidance on complex legal or regulatory issues. The communications guidelines sought to offer best practices for dealing with confidential or sensitive topics.

--With assistance from Davey Alba .

To contact the reporter on this story: Leah Nylen in Washington at [email protected]

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Sara Forden at [email protected]

Elizabeth Wasserman

© 2023 Bloomberg L.P. All rights reserved. Used with permission.

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