Organizational Structure of Google – Introduction
Google LLC’s organizational structure is among the fundamental factors that contribute to the success of the information technology business. A company’s organizational structure or corporate structure refers to the anatomy and arrangement of the various components of the business, especially in terms of its resources and processes.
In the business case of Google, the corporate structure is designed to support the need for innovation and creativity. Innovation is a major characteristic of Google’s corporate culture.
In relation, the company’s organizational structure promotes product development to facilitate high performance and competitiveness in the Internet services industry. Product development is among the major approaches to grow the business, as identified in Google’s generic competitive strategy and intensive growth strategies.
In this way, the organizational structure contributes to business optimization to address competitors, such as Apple, Amazon.com, Facebook, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, Snap Inc. (Snapchat), and Twitter. These firms are aggressive competitors, but Google’s corporate structure strengthens business competencies to counteract competitive forces.
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Organizational Structure of Google – Google’s Organizational Structure Type and Characteristics
Google has a cross-functional organizational structure. In essence, this structure is of the matrix type. However, in this specific business case, the company maintains flatness as a major factor that influences functions throughout the corporate structure. The following are the main characteristics of Google’s corporate structure:
- Function-based definition
- Product-based definition
This structural characteristic refers to the grouping of resources and processes based on business function. For example, Google’s organizational structure involves a group for Global Marketing and another group for Finance. An executive heads each of these groups.
This function-based grouping is responsible for organization-wide strategic decisions and direction. For instance, Google’s operations management approaches are developed and defined through these function-based groups at the corporate headquarters.
This characteristic of the company’s corporate structure influences business processes, such as top-down and bottom-up communications, as well as strategic management to solve problems encountered at various levels and areas of Google’s organization.
Google’s products are developed through the support of product-based groups in the company’s corporate structure. This structural feature addresses the need to develop innovative and competitive products, such as the ones enumerated in Google’s marketing mix or 4Ps.
For example, the company has a group for Cloud operations and another group for Artificial Intelligence operations. An executive heads each of these groups.
Through this characteristic of the organizational structure, the business satisfies current and future market demand and consumer preferences regarding information technology and consumer electronics products, such as Search, mobile apps, and mobile devices.
This ability helps fulfill Google’s corporate vision and mission statements. The company’s product lines are aimed at enhancing people’s access to organized information, especially information through the online environment.
This structural characteristic involves the minimization of vertical hierarchical lines of communication and authority, despite Google’s function-based groups. For example, through its flatness, the company’s organizational structure enables employees, teams, and groups to bypass middle management and communicate directly with upper management.
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Also, in this way, Google’s corporate structure facilitates meetings and sharing of information among employees and teams belonging to different areas of the organization.
This structural feature is a major contributor to innovation for novel products that help in business diversification, which is among the business strengths outlined in the SWOT analysis of Google LLC.
This characteristic of the organizational structure supports Google’s corporate social responsibility strategy and stakeholder management, especially in terms of increasing employee morale, motivation, and satisfaction in their work as part of the company’s business and long-term success.
Organizational Structure of Google – Google’s Corporate Structure – Recommendation
The flatness of Google’s organizational structure has the advantage of promoting innovation and creativity, based on the sharing of knowledge throughout the business organization. In relation, the company’s corporate structure has the benefit of facilitating innovation specific to product development.
Google’s product-based groups are designed for this purpose. These advantages are in addition to the company’s function-based groups that ensure coherence throughout the business. In spite of these advantages, Google’s corporate structure has room for improvement, especially with regard to flexibility.
A recommendation to improve Google’s corporate structure is to address possible flexibility issues. The corporation’s current structural characteristics are effective in supporting flexibility in human resources.
For example, the organizational structure’s flatness optimizes flexibility in how Google’s employees share knowledge and develop products. However, the business applies corporate standards that limit overall flexibility in customizing products to suit customer preferences based on regional and local market conditions.
A way of addressing this strategic issue is to increase the level of flexibility of product-based groups through policies and adjustments in the company’s corporate structure. For instance, additional positions within teams or groups can add to such flexibility.
This recommendation is intended to address concerns regarding how Google’s organizational structure supports the ability to satisfy various customer preferences and regional market characteristics.
You can also check out Google Vision and Mission Statement to better understand how it affect Organizational Structure of Google.
Organizational Structure of Google – Google’s Corporate Culture
Google’s organizational culture is not typical, partly because of the effects of the company’s organizational structure. In essence, the structure and the culture interact to influence the capabilities and cultural characteristics of the organization. Google’s corporate culture has the following primary characteristics:
- Smart with emphasis on excellence
- Supports small-company-family rapport
Openness involves sharing of information to improve Google’s business processes. Openness is achieved through the matrix organizational structure. Within the context of Google’s organizational culture, employees feel free to give their ideas and opinions, such as in meetings with managers.
Also, innovation is at the heart of Google LLC. Every employee is encouraged to contribute innovative ideas.
In addition, this corporate culture pushes for smartness among Google’s employees. The aim is to motivate workers to strive for excellence.
Moreover, the company supports employee involvement in projects and experiments, which are implemented to test new ideas. Google’s organizational culture creates a social ambiance that is warm. Warmth is a factor that facilitates information sharing and employee satisfaction.
The company’s organizational culture maintains a small-company-family ambiance, where people can easily share ideas with each other, including executives like Larry Page.
Thus, Google’s corporate culture supports excellence in innovation through the sharing of ideas and the capability to rapidly respond to the global market for information technology, cloud computing and Internet services, and consumer electronics.
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Organizational Structure of Google – References
- Alphabet Inc. – Form 10-K.
- Ashkenas, R., Ulrich, D., Jick, T., & Kerr, S. (2015). The boundaryless organization: Breaking the chains of organizational structure. John Wiley & Sons.
- Dischner, S. (2015). Organizational structure, organizational form, and counterproductive work behavior: A competitive test of the bureaucratic and post-bureaucratic views. Scandinavian Journal of Management, 31(4), 501-514.
- Gaba, V., & Joseph, J. (2013). Corporate structure and performance feedback: Aspirations and adaptation in M-form firms. Organization Science, 24(4), 1102-1119.
- Google LLC. – Our Products.
- Menguc, B., & Auh, S. (2010). Development and return on execution of product innovation capabilities: The role of organizational structure. Industrial marketing management, 39(5), 820-831.
1. How are teams structured at Google?
Google is well known for its cross-functional, or team-based, organizational structure. The traditional corporate structure is to have employees at the bottom, supervisors above them, middle managers above supervisors and top management above all. This is the vertical approach to management.
2. Is Google a tall or flat organization?
Google is also known for its start-up mentality and flat organizational structure, which means that there are few or no levels of middle management. In other words, despite it’s massive size, all employees have the opportunity to lead.
3. What type of organizational culture is Google?
Google’s has a flat organizational structure, thus encouraging all employees to share their voice. A flat organizational structure is one that allows communication between employees of any level.