. 3. Analysis
3.1 Data collection
The analysis of the organization is done with respect to the Indian subsidiary that is geographically located in the south of India- Hyderabad, Andhra Pradesh. The author worked as an As Words representative for the organization. The data collection for this analysis is based on a subjective and objective perspective, the subjective data being the author’s observations, perceptions and experiences, and the objective being that which is communicated and believed within the organization over the years. The author relates the analyses to the one year work experience, work relationships, work climate and culture, training and evaluation methods which was gained and undergone at the organization. The author also takes into count the strength of the workforce and the significant department in concern in which the author was a count for and worked for. The strength of the workforce noted to be an exact number of a 1000 employees for the year 2007- 2008 who worked for this subsidiary handling the Online Sales Operation for Asia Pacific, with Ad Words being the main revenue generating product other than that of Ad Sense.
3.2 Theories applied
The analysis of the organization has been done on the transformational factor, Organizational culture, with a correlation to that of the author’s paradigm on Burrell & Morgan’s Sociological Paradigms and Organizational Analysis, Heinemann, 1979 . Geert Hofstede’s ‘Cultural dimensions theory’ has been used as the main model of analysis, however, to move beyond the national culture dimension and towards the organizations levels of culture Edgar Schein’s ‘Three levels of culture’ has also been applied.
Burrell ; Morgan’s Sociological Paradigms gives an outlook of the author’s quadrant of perception on the company. Furthermore, the focus of study is from a radical humanistic point of view, the author falls under this paradigm believing that change begins with individual. The below given study also covers the founders view of organizational culture which is supported by the interview with Fortune Magazine.
4.3 Evaluation of Google organizational culture on the Cultural Dimension Theory
Noting that the analysis is done on Google’s Indian subsidiary, there is no appropriate theory than that of the cultural dimension theory, judging that the theory was structured to observe the interactions between the national culture and the organizational culture. Geert Hofstede study demonstrated that there are national and regional cultural groupings that affect the behaviour of societies and organizations, and that are very persistent across time. Applying the skills of an ‘Interpretivist paradigm’ and comprehending and analyzing the organization an evaluation has been done on the five dimensions of the theory. The five dimensions being power distance, Individualism and collectivism, Masculinity and feminity and uncertainty avoidance Hofstede. G, (1997).
Figure 2. Cultural Dimensions of India
PDI– Power distance, IDV– Individualism, MAS– Masculinity, UAI– Uncertainty avoidance index, LTO– Long-term orientation.
4.3.1- Power Distance
On this dimension there is an insignificant distribution of power distance between the superiors and subordinates of the organization. The distance, which is even brought to notice, can be accounted for because of the employee’s job profiles or experience within the organization and not because of the kind of inequality brought among the employee relationship. Bringing to notice Hofstede’s dimensions for culture in India on the dimension of Power distance India ranks 77 as compared to the world on an average of 56.5 Hofstede.G, (1997), Google India Pvt. ltd seemed distant from this dimensional score. On reflection, the author recollects that even though the work experience in the organization was the first of her professional life, her start at the organization did not give her a distant feeling. The right of expression and freedom of thought and creativity was encouraged in the organization. Employees are supported, in addition to their regular projects, to spend 20% of their time working in what they think will most benefit the Organization. The organization believes that many of their significant advances have happened in this manner for example, Adsense and Orkut.
Additionally, the company falls under the flat organization structure, emphasizing on the importance of nooglers (new employees) taking up team responsibilities and thereby creating a sense of belonging. Furthermore, to remove the distribution of power distance the company believes in transparency of information from the CEO Eric Schmidt sharing information with that of a junior most employee such as that of an Ad Words Representative. Portals are constantly created for employees to voice their opinion and come up with solutions and ideas for existing and futuristic problems. Though, the organization being based nationally in that of India the organizational culture has not been influenced as yet by the national culture.
Hofstede.G, (1997) stated that management in an individualist society is management of individuals. Subordinates can usually be moved around individually; if incentives or bonuses are given, these should be linked to an individual’s performance. Understanding that Individualism is appreciated with a stress on collective effort or team work, recruiters are always on the search of such employees who can maintain their individualism as well as perform collectively as a team. The organization encourages and motivates collective and team work, for which the appraisal is given on an Individual performance.
Individualism holds that the individual is the primary unit of reality and the ultimate standard of value. This view does not deny that societies exist or that people benefit from living in them, but it sees society as a collection of individuals, not something over and above them. The organization is concerned about its employees well being and gives every opportunity to learn best practices through teams. Team meeting and inter team events are highly supported and are undertaken with a serious candor. In addition it promotes other employee clubs funding Googler network, Google Women Engineers and the Glbt- Gay, Lesbian, bisexual and transgender googler. Google being an American based organization with an Indian investment there is no difference on this dimension.
Defining the value placed on traditionally male or female value systems this dimension evaluates as to whether the organization gives importance to competitiveness, assertiveness, ambition and accumulation of wealth characteristics of the masculine culture or emphasis on relationships, and quality of life which represents that of the feminine culture. As explained by Hofstede, G. (1997) masculinity and femininity when comparing the culture prevailing in one organization can be analyzed in he view of values in the organization. Morgan (1986:54) talks about modelling the behaviours implied in the values statement ‘The modelling of appropriate behaviour must occur at each level of the organization result in employees being modelled in these same behaviours.’ Looking at the Google culture it can be roughly said that the organization promotes a masculine value system in the organization because of the benefits it provides to its employees. Benefits such as, along with the basic salary a quarterly bonus and a company an annual bonus in the month of December, furthermore, transportation and food requirements which I provided with no charge and in abundance, health facilities as a gym and a spa along with a medical check up and medical coverage of Rs.5, 00,000 Indian currency on the employees and their immediate dependants. Additionally, day care centres for working parents and quarterly outings and entertainment (called movie nights) are held along with a total support to adventure, book and drama clubs, also, employees are given a discount in the most affluent stores and restaurants in the city. However, this may seem as a totally dominating masculine culture the founders of the Organization have not forgotten their corporate social responsibility and also believe in encouraging the feminine culture within the organization. The most significant commandment of the organization ‘Don’t be Evil’ this belief relies on the fact that company ought to do good for the world even if it has to forego some short term gains. Moreover, as users believe in their systems it is their duty to provide and unbiased and objective service. In addition to this it promotes the concept of team development and peer feedback to better the level of employee relationship within the organization. From a radical humanist paradigm though this may seem a balanced organizational culture it seems to be a strategy for the company to get hold of the employees from moving to different organization.
4.3.4 -Uncertainty Avoidance Index
This dimension reflects the level of anxiety of the organization that is the extent up to which the organization attempts to cope with anxiety by minimizing uncertainty. Cultures that scored high in uncertainty avoidance prefer guidelines and structured circumstances, and the employee’s tenure in the company is longer. As expressed by Hofstede, G. (1997) “Laws and rules are ways in which a society tries to prevent uncertainties in the behaviour of people.” However, with regards to the organization there is awareness that business environment changes rapidly hence there is no hesitation to take high risk. The organization believes in funding projects that have 10% chance of earning a billion dollars over the long term as in the past pursuit of such projects have resulted in long term success. Although it cannot be quantified the specific level of risk that the organization is willing to undertake, as the ratio of reward to risk increases, the organization is ready to accept projects further outside the current businesses, if the initial investment is small relative to the level of investment in our current businesses. To evaluate this as a high or low level of uncertainty avoidance is difficult to tell as it seems but natural that most organizations would definitely keep this as an ideal margin. Furthermore, the organization prides itself on doing business with and selling its products on policies and guidelines. With respect to policies and rules outside the business scenario for the employees it can be said that the regulations are minimum that which is in the best interest of the employee example ID badges, and transportation checks for the security of the employees. As clearly seen from the above graph India among all cultural dimension uncertainty avoidance is the lowest where it is always people likes or has a habit of breaking rules with regards to the organization it can be said there are no rules to be broken in the first place. However, if minor offenses are committed employees are aware and are mindful of the fact that time is money and in time serious offenses can cost them their employment. As Brown(1998) states that rules and regulations of an organization bonds to have a good ethics in the work place and not which impose emotional stress on the behaviour of employees in the organization. Nonetheless, the rules and regulations in Google understand the freedom of the employees with knowledge of the importance of the national culture of the location of the organization.
4.3.5 -Long term orientation
This dimension describes the time horizon, the long term or short-term vision of the individual. Hofstede.G, (1997) explains this new dimension of long term orientation verses the short term orientation can be analyzed related to the job security and the long term vision of the employee in the organization with respect to growth in an organization. Google determines that employees within the organization are happy with their current job. They have an added advantage of requesting the manager to give a work experience in different projects. Employees are moved to different project where Google aims to use employee rather than firing them, this shows that Google cares about its employees. The organization believes that business decisions will be made with the long-term welfare of the company and with share holders in mind and not based on accounting considerations. Therefore it can be stated that Google has a long-term oriented culture with respect to seeing the future of its employees.
5. Evaluation of Google organizational culture on Edgar Schein’s Three levels of Culture
To understand the organization the best way to do it would be understanding the culture. Schein divides organizational culture into three levels:
This is being the most surface level of the organization example being the dress code in the company.
5.2 Espoused Values:
Just below the level of the artifacts this level consists of the conscious strategies, goals and philosophies
5.3 Basic Assumptions and Values:
the last lever is the core or essence of culture which is represented by the basic underlying assumptions and values, which are difficult to discern becausethey exist at a largely unconscious level.