Google’s organisational structure and workplace practices (such as their ‘fun at work’ initiatives) not only allow for increasingly creative and innovative ideas to emerge, but are also undoubtedly positive for employee well-being. Critically discuss this statement by drawing on the literature related to fun at work, and either culture OR organisational structure (Not Both) . Provide practical examples by referring to the practices of Google.
The essay explores the fun at work in Google. The company not only allow for increasingly creative and innovative ideas to emerge, but are also undoubtedly positive for employee well-being. There is a bureaucratic culture that is prevalent in the organisation, whereby the organisation is striving to achieve a culture which will add to the benefit of the people and the company in the long run. In this essay we will try to explore the organisational culture of Google from the fun at work aspect and keeping a link with the post bureaucratic culture that is the company has adopted. It is where the organisation is not the top priority of the organisation rather the employees are given more preference.
The concept of culture ha s recently became significant in the field of study. Organizational culture is a term widely used but gives rise to uncertainty as there are different cultures that are prevalent in every organization. It can be said that the culture is something that the business practices to develop the way the organization handles its people. Culture also promotes the way the organization promote values as well as well as the beliefs (Ybema, Yanow and Sabelis, 2011). A culture can also be destroyed if the management feels that it has started to dysfunction.
An organizational culture is therefore can be viewed as something which gives the company a sense of identity. The culture determines the way the company determines its values, languages, norms, meanings and the way the works are carried out in the organization (Schein, 2010). The culture of the organization also surrounds the things which is good for the company and the things which have proven to have worked in the past. The things which have proven to be worthwhile in the past are often accepted in the current working condition.
It is a type of organization which gives emphasis on the speed, clarity, reliability, regularity, precision through the creation of a fixed division of the tasks and hierarchical supervision as well as detailed rules and regulations (Morgan, 1997: 17). The organizations which follow the bureaucracy system, functions in a machine like manner. They are more reliable and predictable as well as efficient and rational. The employees also have certain job responsibilities and they work under a firm hierarchy.
The problem with bureaucracy is that most of the organizations are positioned in an unstable environment which is rapidly changing. These organizations need to adopt structures which will respond to the outside pressures.
One of the main benefits of post bureaucracy is that the people are more satisfied with the way of working (Knights and Willmott, 2012: 567. The main way to make the people work in a company is by work intensification. Google in this case is a post bureaucratic organization which believes in the freedom of the employees and work liberty is given. It needs to be seen that whether the company is successful in doing so and maintain their standards.
The Bureaucracy and Post Bureaucracy culture
Google is a multinational company started in America by co founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin (Scott, 2008). Google is considered the fourth company to be admired in the United States. Google has always worked on the slogan “don’t be evil” (Mirani, 2015). The company also has a motto that they organize the information of the world and make it useful and accessible throughout the world. The two founders of Google alternated their roles in the company. While Sergey Brin looked after the ethical part of the business, Larry Page focused on the social structure. The company has always received an acclamation for the organizational culture which is unusual (Berger, 2014). The organizational culture of Google is designed so as to encourage both creativity and loyalty. The company has grown to a large extent in the past few years. It has always kept innovation at the front and with this goal they have achieved to include web browser called Chrome, YouTube, Google maps. Google is a widely diversified company and has several businesses apart from its online ventures. The company is run by its culture and not by the board of directors (Google.co.uk, 2015).
The company strictly follows the 70-20-10 rule. The rule is that the employees of Google devotes 70% of their office hours time in doing the works and the projects which they are given. The people are also provided 20% free time of their work hours so that they are able to relax and think about new ideas related to their main projects. They can spend their free time by exercising, swim have free meals (Lederer and Hall, 2000). This is done so as to make the employees feel motivated and that they have the time to think about innovative ideas. The services like Gmail, Orkut, and Google News have all been an outcome of these independent endeavors (Stecher, 2010). The rest 10% of the time the employees are allowed to think what the employees want to pursue regardless of the idea’s nature. The company values this strategy as it has led to many new innovations and also the driving force behind these new innovations. The company also encourages open communication between the employees and the executives. This open communication between the employees and the executives and give the employees a feel that they are contributing to the business objectives of the company (eHow UK, 2015).
Google thinks that the company is what it is due to the people who work in the company. They hire people who are determined and smart. The company believes in ability of the people and not the experience of the people. The company strongly believes that the employees of the company share a common goal and vision. The company hails from all the walks of life and they try to speak in almost dozens of languages (Google.com, 2015). This is keeping in mind the global audience that the company serves. When the employees of the company are not working on any projects they indulge in a number of activities like beekeeping, cycling, and Frisbee etc.
The company strives to maintain an open culture inside the organization. This means that the company makes the employees feel comfortable about sharing their opinions and ideas. The company holds weekly meetings in the café or over the internet via email. In these meetings the employees can directly ask questions to Sergey and Larry and the other executives about any issues regarding the company (Kaye and Jordan-Evans, 2003). The cafes of Google are so designed so as to encourage interactions and communications between the employees and within the teams. This sparks conversation as well as communication about work as well as play.
Google constantly tries to create the most happiest and productive work cultures in the world. But many people doubt that the unorthodox workplace of the company and the huge perks the company provides often hampers the creativity of the employees. The company provides the employees tremendous luxuries (Meyer, 2010). There are play areas, coffee bars, open kitchens, cafes, outdoor terraces, free lunch, dinner as well as dinner. The company has a library which has private reading areas. Moreover the employees of the company; the engineers are allowed to design their desks as well as the workstations. The building is chaotic and the workers express themselves by scribbling on the walls. This is a much common practice that the company allows to the employees. The post bureaucracy culture of the organization has in turn made incorporated these practices. The company sees to it that the employees get all the benefits needed to make the employees think in an innovative way. The success of Google depends on innovativeness and collaboration. The employees think that being on the same floor in the workplace make the employee bridge psychological gap since people interact all the time. Moreover the employees in Google do not show that they are working as they tend to be in a relaxed mood even on the weekdays. The science and art of stress management is what the employees in Google are provided (The New York Times, 2013). Like the employees are given follow ups with personal health advisors. The office has even workout equipments on which the employees can train and workout. The employees of Google work very hard to met their mission that is to assemble the information of the world and make it accessible to the users. The thing that truly makes the company unique is their workplace culture. The workplace culture at Google encourages innovation and do not regard anything as impossible, thus making the company a great place to work (Vise and Malseed, 2005).
Thus it can be seen that though Google is a post bureaucratic organization it has maintained its standard and in their work and carried out its mission. But the company is not strict with its hierarchal structure and all the employees work together and try to enjoy their task. The work is not mechanized and the employees are satisfied with their job.
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