1. Email, collaborative discussion sites, televised/videotaped speeches and conferences, and broadcast voice mail make it much easier for managers to improve message transmission and get the message out. By contrast, anonymous company hotlines, survey feedback, frequent informal meetings, and surprise visits help managers avoid organizational silence and improve reception by giving them the opportunity to hear what others in the organization think and feel. Click the link to download the Week 6 Case Study and respond to the questions posed. Your assignment should be 1 page in length. Week 6 Case Study
Mountain View, California
Founded in 1998, Google just had its most dominant year, with its search market share rising from 77 percent to 83 percent and revenues jumping 25 percent. Because most of the revenue came from search, Google is trying to diversify. But it faces intense competition in every market.
In traditional search, Microsoft’s Bing search engine and Facebook, which passed Google as the most popular website in the world, pose threats as people desire more personalized and social media-related search information. Searches for local information, such as restaurant reviews or directions, are 20 percent of all Google searches and half of all mobile or smartphone searches. Yet, local-related search advertising is a weakness for Google, but a strength for Groupon, Facebook Places, Living Social, Foursquare, and Bing. Although Google’s Android smartphones have more market share than Apple’s iPhone, the Android software is open source, so Google makes no money except for built-in Google Ads and services. Likewise, Google trails Apple and Amazon in the number of publishers who use their software, devices (i.e., smartphones, tablets, book readers), and online stores to sell electronic versions of newspapers, magazines, books, music, TV shows, and movies. Finally, Google’s Chrome web browser (13% market share) competes with Microsoft’s Internet Explorer (55%), Mozilla’s Firefox (22%), and Apple’s Safari (7%).
In short, Google is trying to position itself for the day when people won’t automatically use a Google search box to find information. Keith Woolcock, founder of 5thColumnIdeas, a technology research firm, doubts Google is up to the task, saying, “The problem for me as an investor is that Google looks a little too [much] like last year’s model. It’s the chicken in the sandwich—Apple and Facebook are on the opposing sides. Google is in the middle. Really, it looks to me as though it has become the Microsoft of its generation: big, bad and quickly becoming irrelevant.”
Unfortunately, you fear that Woolcock might be right, which is why you replaced CEO, Eric Schmidt, who becomes executive chairman. When Google started, you were CEO for three years. But, as an introvert who prefers technology challenges to management issues, you were relieved to hire Schmidt from Sun Microsystems because of his extensive leadership experience. When Schmidt became CEO, Google was much smaller and still in start-up mode, so he focused on management and financial systems, while you and Sergey Brin focused on technology and product development. Google’s philosophy was to hire really smart people and then let them do whatever they wanted. It was the norm for Google engineers to have 20 percent of their time to work on whatever they wanted to. And it spawned great products like Gmail, which engineer Paul Buchheit designed in a day and then shopped around, to get other Google engineers to join his team. This approach worked well until Google hit 10,000 employees. But at Google’s current size, 24,000 employees, with plans to hire another 6,000, it leads to confusion, poor coordination, and a lack of focus.
Today, Google is a much larger, more complicated company. But the biggest problem is that paralyzing bureaucracy has slowed the company. As technology companies grow, this happens. IBM, Apple, Microsoft, and HP weren’t immune, and neither is Google. In fact, the key reason you became CEO again was to streamline decision making and communication, and create clearer lines of responsibility and accountability. But how do you do that in a company of 30,000 people? A related problem is that top management is increasingly isolated from middle- and lower-level managers and employees who are responsible for the research and project management that is key to Google’s success. So, what might you do to improve upward communication within the company? Finally, what can Google do to communicate effectively on an organization-wide basis in an organization that has dozens of product lines and hundreds of research projects and that will soon have 30,000 employees?
If you were the new CEO at Google, what would you do?
“Top Browser Share Trend,” NetMarketShare, May 2011, http://www.netmarketshare.com/browser-market-share.aspx?spider=1&qprid=1 [accessed 19 June, 2011]; R. Adams & J. Vascellaro, “Google Digital Newsstand Aims to Muscle In on Apple,” Wall Street Journal, 3 January 2011, B1; L. Edmund & M. Learmonth, “What Larry Page will be up against at Google,” Advertising Age, 24 January 2011, 1; A. Efrati, “Google to Test Daily Deals That Challenge Groupon,” Wall Street Journal, 22 January 2011, B4; A. Efrati & J. Vascellaro, “Power Shifts Atop Google — Internet Giant Says Co-Founder Larry Page Will Replace CEO Eric Schmidt,” Wall Street Journal, 21 January 2011, A1; M. Farhad, “Google: The Quest,” Fast Company, April 2011, 68-120, 9p; H. Jenkins, Jr., “The Weekend Interview with Eric Schmidt: Google and the Search for the Future,” Wall Street Journal, 14 August 2010, A9; M. Mangalindan, “Boss Talk: The Grownup at Google; How Eric Schmidt Imposed Better Management Tactics But Didn’t Stifle Search Giant,” Wall Street Journal, 29 March 2004, B1; B. Saporito, “Refreshing Google,” Time, 7 February 2011, 48-49; J. Stewart, “WEEKEND INVESTOR — Common Sense: Will Google Survive Facebook?” Wall Street Journal, 29 January 2011, B7.
2. Control is achieved when behavior and work procedures conform to standards and goals are accomplished. By contrast, control loss occurs when behavior and work procedures do not conform to standards. To determine whether control is worthwhile, managers need to carefully assess regulation costs, that is, whether the costs and unintended consequences of control exceed its benefits.
Consider this scenario as you complete your assignment.
Starbucks has always strived to take leadership in environmental issues, whether it was by encouraging customers to compost used coffee grounds or by offering free drinks to customers who brought in their own reusable mugs. But the company faces a major problem that has few solutions: cups. Across all of its stores, Starbucks uses more than 3 billion paper cups every year, most of which end up in the trash. Though the company would love to recycle these cups, it can’t, since most processors don’t recycle paper cups that are lined with plastic, as the Starbucks cups are. The plastic lining also prevents the cups from being composted.
Develop an essay answering the following questions. How can Starbucks maintain its commitment to reducing waste as it keeps sending paper cups to landfills? What steps in the control process will be important as Starbucks tries to reduce the number of paper cups it uses? What benefits does Starbucks gain by controlling this outcome? Your assignment should be 1-2 pages in length.
3. Create your Five-Year Development Plan (how you plan to professionally and educationally grow). What are two to four goals which you hope to attain within five years as within your profession and education? The completed assignment should be at least one page, double spaced.