google Organizational structure and culture analysis


The rapid Google Company’s growth makes it a case study on how innovation and visionary leadership form the bedrock of corporate governance. The success of the company revolves around its strategic mission and use of environmentally adaptive structure. Google does not follow the traditional corporate structure. The Fortune Magazine in 2012 ranked the company among the best five global companies in terms of work environment. The ranking reflects unique and dynamic structure that appeal to employees.

The high employee retention and employee satisfaction rating demonstrates the close relationship between organizational culture and structure (Stauss, Chojnacki, Decker& Hoffman, 2001).  Both factors intermingle to produce a sustainable corporate behavior that is acceptable to all stakeholders.  Organizational structure affects employee development and growth. A rigid structure has limited chances of employee’s upward mobility. The outcome of such rigidities is demoralization, low performance and high turnover. The employees will leave such organizations where promotion is not merit based. Google’s management realized that corporate management approach and desisted from the traditional organizational structure. Traditionally, the organizational structure characteristically, in hierarchical order has the operative /transactional employee, the supervisors, middle managers, and top management from the bottom to top respectively. The vertical structure promotes organizational culture   where the top management makes decisions at the top. The orders are the sent down to the employees at the operational/bottom of the pyramid.  The culture does not promote collaborative work culture, team work or consolations. However, at Google, the productivity is very high, as measured by the company’s financial muscle, rate of acquisition of competitors and the number of innovative products.

Differently, Google applies the cross-functional organizational structure. The structure combines seamlessly with a unique work culture, known as the Google philosophy. The team approach serves as the organizational culture.  The approach promotes a horizontally structured management. The structure promotes positive corporate structure, unlike the tall organizational structure. The company benefits from the structure through purposively maintained small company feel.  According to Kountze and Matulich (2010), the company has “high-energy, fast paced work environment, [where the employees] work hard, yet have fun at the same time”. Consequently, the Human resource policy emboldens the culture with the belief among all employees that every person is a significant contributor to the successes. Recognition of the employees in the Google’s success encourages motivation and hard work.

The company has a culture of employee recognition. The recognition does not reflect the level of an employee or position. The company has benefits package include retirement funds, free lunch, customized wellness programs and health benefits (Kuntze & Matulich, 2010).

The cross functional organizational structure encourages team work and function based duty allocation. Google uses the control strategy to realize an integrated project management team and achieve specific results. The structure allows matrix as approach characterized by exercising   clan control and adherence to sets of rules, regulations and procedures (bureaucracy). The Google’s control strategy encompasses the board of directors and the   executive’s officers, making the formal and official authority.  The strategy ensures that authority and control wielded by specific people in the top management while every employee owes a duty to the company and not an individual.

Corporate culture impacts the organization structure positively. Google’s corporate culture promotes staff development and training. The acquired skills are used to develop a resilient corporate structure. The company’s structure encourages growth and employee development. Under the Knowledge management program, Google considers the staff is like the main assets to the company.  The management through the effective structure and the organizational culture create a good working environment that promotes creativity. The company’s structure encourages recognition   talent and creativity. The  significant degree of freedom given to the employees, in  relation to  their duties, give them room  to experiment  on new ideas, test and commercialize them in collaboration with the relevant departments (Rappaport, Bancroft & Okum, 2003).

Organizational structure   demonstrates whether or not the employees are valued. An organization structure that promote  regular employee trainings and education  reimbursement programs promote good work culture and reduce staff turnover (Stauss, Chojnacki, Decker& Hoffman, 2001). Through valued based employee program, Google ensures that the equipment and tools used by employees are efficient and quality. In reciprocity, the experienced and quality staff remains committed to the realization of the   objectives and mission of the company.

Organization structure should allow a company realizes competitive advantage that furthers its growth.  The management should allow evolution and revolution of the company and take advantage of the new and emerging. Google’s horizontal structure allows flexibility and cooperation. The structure led to the creation of an employee-slack management tactic further; the management has adopted an economic model and market control styles to manage organizational innovation and the corporate matters. The reward culture recognizes top performers while the non-performers, do face demotion, training and reshuffling.   The culture is embedded on hard work, recognition and handsome rewards.

In conclusion, organizational structure and culture are intertwined. Both concepts define and shape the level of success, long term survival and employee motivation. While vertical structure has merits such as firmer control and accountability, it restricts innovation, creativity and teamwork. The horizontal structure as the case of Google Company works best. The structure promotes positive work culture, relaxed work ethic and environment and innovation.




















Kuntze, R. & Matulich, E. (2010). Google: searching for value. Journal of Case Research in

Business and Economics.

Rappaport, A., Bancroft, E., & Okum, L. (2003). The aging workforce raises new talent

management issues for employers. Journal of Organizational Excellence, 23, 55-66.

Stauss, B., Chojnacki, K., Decker, A., Hoffman, F. (2001). Retention effects of a customer club.

International Journal of Service Industry Management, Vol. 12 No.1, pp.7-19


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