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Management Leadership and Communication

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Management Leadership and Communication
Week 5
Case Study Analysis
Keeping Google “Googley”


Google was founded in 1998 by Larry Page and Sergey Brin. They started the company when they were PhD. students at Stanford University. The idea behind the company was an algorithm that ranked Internet search results, with most link redirections as the criterion. Google has had an incredibly rapid growth since its inception, and in 1999, just one year since it started they moved their headquarters to Mountain View, California. It achieved 587.8 million daily users by 2007 which is over 62% of the search market and generated $16.6 Billion in a year. Approximately 99% of this revenue was generated by Google’s two main advertising services; AdWords and AdSense.

AdWords allowed advertisers to target their audience based on keyword searches and other data-driven metrics, which gives better output for marketing over the cost, as it is targeted advertising. AdSense allows website content creators to monetize their websites spaces by using those spaces for advertising. This is a tight revenue model which has had incredible success. Google also develops a variety of other applications and products like Google Docs and Maps. Google also acquired the video sharing website YouTube in 2007, which has given AdSense a new platform of content space and Video creators a way to monetize their content.


  • The main challenge for Google was to preserve its way and the spirit of not being a conventional company, and its informal environment. It’s tough to keep that small startup environment intact when a company must scale up to such a large level. The Flat Organizational Structure, which Google is proud of, is also tough to maintain and operate with in a large organization.
  • The open work culture and cooperation mechanism in making consensus decisions was also a challenge to maintain in a large company of 17,000 employees. In a large company its incredibly hard to reach consensus and takes a large amount of time to run a decision by every person, and schedule meetings across different time zones. Every decision needs a lot of time to be processed and that might cost a company in short terms.
  • To keep the unnecessary rules, policies and bureaucracy out of the normal functioning of the organization. With a growing organization, changes in rules need to be stricter and binding to ensure the organization doesn’t get sued. This is especially hard to implement while trying to conserve the base values of Google and its work culture, which requires a lot more freedom than a conventional company.
  • Preparing for issues and problems within the company that might be uncovered with change in the market and a slower pace of growth of the company. Until 2007, Google was in its growth phase, and growth is known to mask a lot of issues within an organization. To maintain the balance of the company in a slow market was sure an unpredictable challenge to look up to.


  • Firstly, it’s very important to believe in the values that are the foundation of the organization, and its work culture. They should not be fiddled with in name of experimentation or compromised with in the face of difficulties. These values and work culture is what makes a company unique in its way. The open and cooperative culture Google has is rare one and is the spirit of innovation and creation in Google. It’s what leads the employees to care about what they do and gives them something to believe in. Recruiting the best talent is easier when employee satisfaction and innovation is imbedded in your work culture, which in turn leads to productivity.
  • It might be a good idea to create a platform or a separate division which can facilitate exchange of information and ideas within already established groups. And can track simultaneously progress of separate divisions related to a single project, to keep everyone in sync with the progress. For example, the engineering division and sales department might need an intermediate platform to exchange information and communicate better, as those two departments speak in completely different languages and perspectives when it comes to a product.
  • A set of contingency projects and plan could be made to tackle the uncertainties of the slow economy. There plans should be made keeping in mind different scenarios of the market and should be flexible enough to not tamper with the other projects of the company. Futuristic researches can also be initiated as part of the contingency plan, and might benefit the company a lot if they want to pivot in the future.


Google is arguably the best company of all-time. It’s hard to find much wrong within the ironclad culture and work environment of Google, and hopefully it is going to remain “Googley” for a long time as long as they follow their motto “Don’t be evil”. It’s an organization that is nonconforming and is proud of it. It has an open environment which provides a lot of freedom to the employees. The 20% rule, where employees can pursue their own ideas and projects for 20% of work time is golden and leads to a lot of productive hours and innovation. Few tweaks might be necessary in order to optimize the decision-making process and communication within the company to make decisions faster and cooperation easier, but as a whole Google has done a great job creating its reputation and embedding their values deep within every employee and the work environment. This unique organization should do everything to preserve its values and culture. Innovation will follow.



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