Google Inc. Managing Corporate Culture

Culture is a way of life of a specific group of people describing their behavior, beliefs, symbols, and artifacts that they embody. Culture is essential to identify a group of people in society and help them stand out as unique. Corporate culture refers to an organization’s beliefs and practices that dictate interaction between employees, management, and various stakeholders to help the organization meet its goals. Corporate culture encompasses the behavior of employees and management, symbols and privileges to various members of an organization (Clegg et al., 2019). Managing cultures in an organization is essential in maintaining proper conduct and ensure organizational success through good performances (Warrick, 2017). An outstanding corporate culture encourages high ethical standards and maintains employee performance to meet organizational objectives (Erthal & Marques, 2018). Contrary failure to manage cultures leading to poor organization culture and practices leads to poor performance and increased conflict (Clegg et al., 2019). This paper analyzes the importance of maintaining corporate culture to ensure organizational success through a view of Google Inc. and the Australian Parliament.

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Corporate Culture

Corporate culture stems from a long history of an organization due to continued and maintained practices representing the organization’s values. The culture in an organization is dictated by the codes of ethics and conduct it upholds. There are various culture levels, including Artifacts, routine practices and beliefs, and basic assumptions (Clegg et al., 2019). Artifacts represent an organization’s observable features, for example, logos and architecture. It also represents the company’s languages and myths about its founders and stories company. Routine practices and beliefs incorporate the daily activities in an organization, including decision-making processes that form an emotional connection expressed through the organization’s mission, vision, and value statements (Parry et al., 2021). Basic assumptions represent the organization’s members’ beliefs and worldviews based on their knowledge and understanding of its culture.

Australian Parliament

Recently, on the news, there have been movements to spread awareness and to come out and speak about sexual harassment in the workplace through the #Metoo movement. The Australian Parliament was caught up in this scandal, with various women coming out and sharing their experiences of sexual harassment and rape in the ministerial office (Shepherd, 2021). The allegations show entitlement and privilege for individuals in power and an abuse bias towards women. The culture of silence characterizes the parliament, with political considerations visible to be the most significant factor in victims’ silence (Shepherd, 2021). The codes of ethics governing the members of parliament and ministers stem from the constitution and the rules and regulations of the government’s legislative and executive arms. Contrary, staffers are not employees of the parliament or government, and therefore they do not conform to the rule and regulations governing the members of parliament or staffers. Ministerial staffers are independent employees not answerable to anyone and not accountable to any set of codes of ethics.

The sexual allegations against staffers of ministerial offices show a lack of proper managerial, oversight, and ethical standings (Taflaga & Kerby, 2020). This failure stems from a lack of a defined culture due to the consistent turnover of power and roles when new ministers come to power (Shepherd, 2021). Because these individuals are not answerable to anyone, their actions lack ethical boundaries. Ministers who employ these individuals lack the political goodwill to prosecute or hold these individuals accountable for their actions because of their invaluable support. The staffers cannot appear before any parliamentary committee to answer these allegations because of the lack of laws holding them accountable for their actions.

There is a lack of motivation to manage this unaccountable culture by ministers due to pressure from contemporary politics, which requires flexibility that can only come from staffers who do not have any defined roles. Failure to manage the staffers is motivated by partisan stands that make members of parliament and ministers focus on power rather than reforms (Tiernan, 2021). The prime minister’s staffers and ministers face political protection from the prime ministers, and the prime minister’s actions will depend on the political damage. The failure by the parliament to hold and their staffers accountable for their wrongdoings gives these individuals privileges stemming from a culture of power-centered operations. The case of the Australian Parliament shows a lack of management of culture in an organization leading to conflict, poor ethical standards, and a hostile working environment. Women face oppression through sexual harassment, and they cannot speak up due to the lack of accountability given to the perpetrators (Tiernan, 2021). Lack of a defined set of values and beliefs as the third level of culture shows a lapse in moral standings with people acting with disregard for others.

Google

Managing culture shows great success in organizational performance, and this is visible through an analysis of Google Inc. Google is a technology company based in the United States and has received numerous accords for its model of the good corporate culture. Google shows a varying degree of cultures such as clan, adhocracy, and market culture. Google has a defined culture that is different from the Australian Parliament, where staffers of ministerial office have no defined culture. Google has a clan culture that emphasizes maintaining flexibility in operations, focusing on personal relationships, and maintaining core values (Igo & Skitmore, 2006). Google provides a flexible environment for its employees to choose processes and working schedules that suits them (Forbes Technology Council, 2018). Flexibility allows individuals to be creative and offer a supportive working environment for employees. Flexibility allows for employees to determine when they work best to provide great performance to the organization. Google provides a fun working environment that gives employees the freedom to work without feeling the burden of work (Forbes Technology Council, 2018). This culture of freedom allows employees to work even on weekends and for long hours without complaints because of flexibility in their schedules and the fun of working in their environment.

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Adhocracy culture allows for creativity and innovation in the workplace (Igo & Skitmore, 2006). Google offers an environment for its employees to be creative and innovative by providing necessities and infrastructure to help employees perform their functions. Google hires individuals with innovative minds to feed their innovative culture for constant innovations in delivering their services to the world. Staffers in the ministerial offices of the Australian Parliament have no mission statements and work only to serve the political agendas of the minister. Contrary, Google has a clear mission statement that focuses on providing information to the world by organizing information (Forbes Technology Council, 2018). This mission shows a market culture where the company focuses on providing quality service to its customers. This culture helps the company maintain high-quality standards for its customers, and this improves performance. A clear mission helps the company organize its operations and its employees to focus on this mission providing direction to the company.

Google has an employee-centered culture where it provides a conducive working environment, good perks, and compensation to its employees and promotes collaboration (Forbes Technology Council, 2018). Google selects smart, highly skilled, and humble individuals who are willing to improve from the recruitment process. Employees at google receive very competitive perks and compensation that facilitate good living conditions and general happiness. Collaboration among employees allows effective communication and efficiency in the working environment to achieve organizational goals (Collins, 2006). There is a good relationship between employees and managers, limiting conflict and promote good working conditions. The Australian Parliament offers a contrast, where there is a conflict between individuals in the ministerial offices, including staffers and other subordinate staff. This conflict presents a hostile working environment, primarily due to harassment among women. Google focuses on individualism, allowing individuals to be responsible for their actions. Individualism enhances responsibility, and this encourages good performance. The organization gives employees trust to perform their roles without supervision. There is a growth mindset in the organization, with employees encourages to keep improving their skills (Wray‐Bliss, 2003). The company has a vast campus to provide training to its employees and encourages employees to get expert advice from individuals to promote growth. The staffers in ministerial offices in the Australian Parliament have no growth mindset due to the term limits of ministers. Maintaining the same values and mission enables the company to have a single focus market culture approach in providing services to its customers (Fredrickson, 2003). Focusing on employees’ happiness and freedom increases creativity and innovation, promoting growth.

Conclusion

Managing cultures is an essential process to facilitate an improvement in performance in an organization. Cultures dictate the values and principles of the members of an organization, influencing the way they behave and perform their work. Failure to manage cultures leads to challenges in an organization, such as improper conduct of employees and a slow in an organization’s operations. The Australian parliament is an example of failure in managing culture in an organization. The parliament faced sexual allegations for members of ministerial staffers that offer support to ministers. These individuals do not fall under any jurisdiction, and thus their actions stem from their own choices, political influence, and political protection. The staffers are not answerable to any parliamentary committee rules or regulations. The staffers’ actions provided a hostile working environment among women due to sexual harassment, and conflict arose from cases and reports against these individuals affecting performance. Contrary, Google Inc. provides a model of good culture management focusing on employee happiness, collaboration, creativity, and innovation. These attributes create a conducive working environment promoting organizational performance. From the analysis of these two institutions, it is evident that managing cultures helps improve an organization’s performance.

References

Clegg, S. R., Kornberger, M., & Pitsis, T. (2019). Managing and organizations: An introduction to theory and practice. Sage. 1-837.

Collins, D. (2006). Assaying the ‘advice industry’. Culture and Organization, 12(2), 139-152.

Erthal, A., & Marques, L. (2018). ‘National culture and organisational culture in lean organisations: A systematic review’, Production Planning & Control, vol. 29, no. 8, pp. 668-687.

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Forbes Technology Council. (2018). Council post: 13 reasons Google deserves its ‘best company culture’ award. Forbes.

Fredrickson, B. L. (2003). ‘Positive emotions and upward spirals in organizations’, in K.S. Cameron, J.E. Dutton & R.E. Quinn (Eds.), Positive organizational scholarship, Berrett-Khoeler, San Francisco, CA, pp. 163-75.

Igo, T., & Skitmore, M. (2006). Diagnosing the organizational culture of an Australian engineering consultancy using the competing values framework’, Construction Innovation, vol. 6, no. 2, pp. 121 – 139.

Parry, K. D., Storr, R., Kavanagh, E. J., & Anderson, E (2021). Conceptualising organisational cultural lag on marriage equality in Australian sporting organisations. Journal of Sociology. 1-23.

Shepherd, T. (2021). Parliament and the culture of silence: Making toxic workplaces ‘psychologically safe‘. The Guardian.

Taflaga, M., & Kerby, M. (2020). Who does what work in a ministerial office: politically appointed staff and the descriptive representation of women in Australian political offices, 1979–2010. Political Studies, 68(2), 463-485.

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Tiernan, A. (2021). Yes, the culture in Parliament House is appalling. But there are systemic problems that also need urgent reform. The Conversation.

Warrick, D. D. (2017). What leaders need to know about organizational culture. Business Horizons, 60(3), 395-404.

Wray‐Bliss, E. (2003). Quick fixes, management culture and drug culture: excellence and ecstasy, BPR and brown. Culture and Organization, 9(3), 161-176.

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