Since early 1990s, the notion of corporate culture has been used by professionals and researchers as the critical element determining the quality and effectiveness of the company’s performance (Cremer, 1993; Garmendia, 2004). Google is not an exception; the company has experienced skyrocketing development, and corporate culture is frequently viewed as the essential component of the company’s success. However, is everything as perfect as we think? In reality, Google’s corporate culture has numerous advantages and several critical disadvantages.
Google pursues the principles of innovation; employees are encouraged to offer wild and unexpected ideas (Goo, 2006). Google suggests that “if you’re not failing enough, you’re not trying hard enough” (Los Angeles Times, 2006), and that is an excellent message encouraging to innovate and work, and to motivate company employees. Even the physical design of Google’s lobbies sets the tone for what takes place behind the doors: the interior is filled with glass, suggesting that trust, transparency, and openness are the three essential components of the company’s corporate culture (Shermer, 2008).
Unfortunately, the perfect atmosphere of freedom and trust does not contribute much into retaining company’s employees. “Google’s hiring policy is aggressively non-discriminatory and favors ability over experience” (Google, 2008). The company is too generous when paying million dollar salaries to its employees: as a result, employees leave to start their own businesses, and the company’s experiences accouantability issues (Associated Press, 2004).
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Salter (2008) states that Google’s corporate principles are so perfect that there is no other word better than “culture” to briefly describe the processes that take place within Google’s walls; however, the absence of strict hierarchy, and the development of horizontal structure of corporate relations turns Google into an effective instrument for generating fast profits by employees and... leaving! Corporate culture is still the critical sign for corporate greatness (Shea, 2003), but for Google this culture risks damaging the company’s image.
Unless Google is able to address its cultural issues, the company may turn into one large human resource department, busy with hiring new employees without any real chance to make them stay.
References Associated Press. (2004). Quirky Google culture endangered? Wired. Retrieved September 22, 2008 from http://www. wired. com/techbiz/media/news/2004/04/63241 Cremer, J. (1993). Corporate culture and shared knowledge. Social Sciences, 2 (1): 351-386. Garmendia, J. A. (2004). The impact of corporate culture on company performance. Current Sociology, 57 (6): 1021-1038.
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