The company’s overview
Google is a multinational corporation based in the United States that is devoted to services related to internet search, online advertising and offering cloud-computing services to its clients. It was initially formed during September 4, 1998 by Larry Page and Sergey Brin as a private company; it later went public during August 19, 2004 through an Initial Public Offering (IPO). Google Inc.’s mission statement is “to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful” (Google Corporation, 2011). Google’s headquarters is currently located in Mountain View, California. Google’s rapid development saw the company engage in a number of acquisitions and partnerships with various companies. In addition, the rapid growth of Google can be attributed to the diversity its product ranges beyond the initial web search engine. Currently, Google offers a wide range of online software such as email applications, social networking tools. The company is also developing mobile phone operating systems such as the Android and Google Chrome Operating system (Google Corporation, 2011). This essay provides an overview of Google Corporation by outlining the top management of the company, corporate affairs, organizational culture, corporate and business levels strategies and an overview of Google’s competitors.
Leadership/ top management team of the organization
Larry Page and Sergey Brin co-founded Google during 1998. Google’s growth can be attributed to a management team that is well conversant with current technology issues in the IT industry. The company’s top management comprises of a Board of Directors that has nine members, and Executive Officers (Fox, 2010).
Board of Directors
The Board of Directors consists of John Doerr, who has been a board member since 1999; John Hennessy, who has been a member of the Google’s board of directors since 2004 and holds a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering. Ann Mather has also been in the company’s board since 2005 (Google Corporation, 2011). Other members in the board include Paul Otellini, who has been in the board since 2004 and has held executive positions in Intel Corporation; Ram Shiriram, who has been in the boards team since 1998 and a partner in Sherpalo ventures; Shirley Tilgiham was appointed to the board of directors during 2005. The Company’s co-founders are also members of the board of directors and form part of the executive officers at the company (Google Corporation, 2011).
The team of Executive Officers at Google Corporation comprises of the co-founders, the executive chairperson, and three senior Vice Presidents. Larry page is the Chief Executive Officer of Google, and is in charge of the company’s daily operations and development of the company’s technological strategies. Presently, Larry serves as the president of Google’s products. Sergey Brin is a member of the executive officers and a co-founder of the company. From 2001 to the present, Sergey has been the president of technology at the company, and has the responsibility of directing special projects and plays a significant role in the daily activities of the company (Jarvis, 2011).
The company’s executive chairperson has a significant role in ensuring the company becomes a worldwide leader in internet technology and has the responsibility of establishing partnerships and maintaining good business relationships with other corporations. In addition, the executive chairperson is responsible for the development of business policies to the senior management team. From 2001 to present, Eric Schmidt has been the Chief Executive Officer for the company alongside with its co-founders (Google Corporation, 2011). During his leadership at the company, Google has experienced tremendous growth in terms of scaling infrastructure, product diversity and innovation (Fox, 2010).
The Senior Vice President and Chief Business Officer have the responsibility of overseeing all the activities relating to customer relations, marketing and partnerships with other business corporations. In addition, he has the responsibility of establishing the market for Google products outside the United States and fostering partnerships in those regions in order to facilitate strategic expansion of the company (Google Corporation, 2011).
The Senior Vice President and the corporate development and Chief Legal Officer of Google Corporation is in charge of legal issues in the Company, maintaining government relations and fostering corporate development. In addition, he is in charge of accessing the legal bounds of partnerships and licensing operations of the company (Google Corporation, 2011).
The Senior Vice President and the Chief Financial Officer of the company has the responsibility of overseeing financial operations of the company, planning and developing strategies to enhance financial performance of the company (Google Corporation, 2011).
Google Inc. corporate affairs and organizational culture
Google Inc. focuses on the informal corporate culture, whereby the corporate philosophies are based on casual principles as opposed to the formal corporate philosophies. The Google culture embodies innovation as being the key success factor for the company. The company’s commitment to innovation is fostered by a limited company feel provided by a working environment that is characterized by comfort and the freedom to express ones views and ideas (Scott, 2008). Each employee of the company is perceived as integral part of the company’s success. All these is favored by the informal corporate culture at Google as evident in their philosophies such as one can be serious without being in a suit, work must present a challenge to tackle which should be fun when tackling such challenges (Sherman, 2005).
The Google culture also focuses on motivation to drive invention and innovation, which is implemented using a policy referred to as the Innovation Time Off. This policy provides an opportunity for the Google engineers to embark on personal projects that could be of benefit to the company. In fact, some of Google new products and services are because of this policy. In this regard, Google puts more emphasis on ability, rather than hiring (Sherman, 2005). The company’s organizational culture plays a significant role in pulling the best technological talent available in the market. In addition, it fosters motivation, which is the company’s strategy behind its success (Stross, 2008).
The managerial structure at Google is based on the 70-20-10 rule, which also authorizes the employees of the company to undertake certain risks. The 70-20-10 rule implies that employees have 70 percent of their time in fulfilling their current assignments with the regard to the company operations, 20 percent on other related projects aimed at encouraging innovation and 10 percent of their time on any other personal projects. This means that the employees are somewhat accountable to themselves on behalf the company. The executives of the company have the responsibility of ensuring that the employees and the management team work closely, instead of using the conventional reporting channels. The company executives maintains a close relationship the employees and the managers of the various departments at the company. The outcome of this approach to management is what is called a cross-functional management system, which is fostered by open communication. Open communication is an integral element of Google organizational culture, which facilitates the passing on information from the different organizational levels with significant constraints. In addition, the open management policy serves as motivation factor for the employees at the company because they feel that they are part of the company and they play a significant role in ensuring the success of the company.
A significant aspect of the Google organizational culture is that the employees of the company are accountable for themselves in most cases. The management of the company does not set the goals for its employees; rather, it has the responsibility of aiding the company employees to meet their own objectives that they have established by themselves. The underlying principle is that Google perceives its managers as organizational leaders who have the responsibility of inspiring and empowering the staff of the company. Google management serves to control the responsibility of the company employees using the system of checks and balances, which are used to evaluate the goals of the employees on a quarterly basis. The decision-making structure at Google is characterized by the management proposing suggestions, although the plan of action is determined by the employees who evaluate the propositions with respect to the achievement of the established goals and objectives. The management only serves to ensure that employees meet their own established goals; however, the employees perceive the management as leaders because the benchmarks are determined by the employees themselves.
Another important aspect of Google management is that the employees are at liberty to adjust their job parameters when required. Google employees perceive themselves as leaders on their own, evaluate their own metrics and propose appropriate strategies of improving their metrics. This kind of organizational culture is fostered by corporate transparency, whereby employees play a significant role in leadership contribution of the company. Employees at the company can access the proceedings of managerial meetings and make their contributions. Therefore, the management views every employee in the company as having a stake in the company; as a result, Google employees feel that they have the responsibility in the success of the company’s undertakings. The benefits associated with this kind of organizational structure is that the company attracts the high-end talent in the computing technology.
Google’s products and services
Google focuses on the persistent innovations in the web search and online advertising; this has significantly contributed to the company becoming one of the top brands in the internet economy sector at the global market place. Google serves the following principal constituencies:
i. Users: Google offers products and services that facilitate the finding of internet information in a manner that is easy and faster access. In addition, the company facilitates the creation and organization of internet information, with ultimate goal of making internet information useful for the users.
ii. Advertisers: Google has diverse advertising programs that are tailored according to the client’s requirements in terms of cost and relevance of information to the target audience.
iii. Web sites: Google has diverse programs that are aimed at making the access and finding of particular company websites easy according to the search results and the online advertising platforms on the company’s website.
Google offers a wide range of products and services that are delivered online. One of the most important services offered by Google is advertising. In fact, advertising generates 99 percent of the company’s profits. For instance, during the 2006 trading period, revenue from advertising amounted to USD 10.492 Billion (Scott, 2008). Google has invested much on online advertising services, making the company one of the largest brokers on the online marketing platform. Google has collaborated with DoubleClick in order to evaluate the interests of internet users, as a result, the company places its advertisements in a manner that is relevant to the user and the context (Stross, 2008). One of their products, Google Analytics can aid owners of websites to determine the location from which their website is viewed and the nature of information that the users visit on their website through using click rates on the internet links. Google also places its advertisements on third-party websites using its service called AdWords, which offers a framework through which advertisers can place their advertisements on the Google’s network in terms of cost-per-click or cost-per-view strategy. Another advertising service provided by Google is AdSense, whereby advertisers pay Google whenever an advertisement is clicked on Google’s website (Google Corporation, 2011).
The second service that the company offers is Google Search, which the most common service offered by the company. Market research studies report that Google search is the most used search engine in the United States and most parts of the rest of the world. In the US, Google search has a market share of 65.6 percent. Google internet search has diverse services that internet users can use to access diverse information on the internet. For instance, Google image search, News search, Google Maps used to find locations, Google Docs, and Google Scholar (Scott, 2008).
Apart from web search services, Google develops productivity tools that are delivered to their clients via the internet. One example of productivity tools developed by Google is Gmail, which is a web mail application. Google Docs is another online productivity service from the company. In addition, Google has a wide range of enterprise products that are customized for business organizations and educational institutions. One of such enterprise products is the Google Search Appliance that was developed for aiding search technology in large corporations. Google Apps is another enterprise product that targets educational institutions and Google Postini Services. Presently, Google is embarking on the development of mobile phone operating system (Vise & Malseed, 2008).
Overview of Google competitors
For most part of the 21st century, Google has managed to rule the internet economy, due to the diversity of its services. Google has been leading in internet products and competitor companies are out for the same stakes as Google. One of the most significant competitors of Google is the Apple Inc., which was initially a partner then turned to rival Google. Apple has been competing Google in the smart phone industry and Online music. In addition, Apple develops an internet browser, called Apple Safari that competes with Google Chrome. Apple has stabilized in the smart phone industry with their iPhone, which targets the same customers as Google Android phones (Jarvis, 2011).
The second competitor of Google is Microsoft Corporation, which is a dominant name in the IT industry. Microsoft and Google have been competing in the development of web browsers, internet search engines; with Microsoft recent development of Bing threatening the supremacy of Google Internet search (Jarvis, 2011).
The third significant competitor to Google is Amazon with respect to digital books services. Amazon rivals Google in terms of e-books store. Google is also battling Amazon in the delivery of cloud computing services, with Google developing GoogleApps to rival Elastic Cloud Computing developed by Amazon (Scott, 2008).
The fourth significant competitor to Google is Yahoo with regard to internet search engines. Yahoo has diverse products such as mail services, web search and News. With recent development of their products, Yahoo has the capability to outperform Google in internet search services (Stross, 2008).
Social networking platforms such as Facebook and Twitter form part of the list of Google’s competitors in terms of the future ways internet users will access information. The increased dominance of social networking is a threat to Google supremacy with regard to future trends of accessing of information on the internet and advertising platforms. Other competitors include Mozilla, with their development of internet browsers. In terms of collaboration services, Cisco, IBM and Nokia are key competitors. Cisco offers collaborative services such as the WebEx, which competes with Google Voice. Google has been attempting to outperform Nokia’s Symbian in the smart phone industry (Vise & Malseed, 2008).
Google corporate and business level strategies
Google’s corporate strategy relies on innovation as a critical success factor for the company. Smart innovation strategy deployed by Google has played a significant role in ensuring that company’s supremacy in internet economy. Innovation saw the company diversify its products beyond the web search service and the enhancement of their products (Jarvis, 2011).
Partnerships and acquisitions are another corporate strategies deployed by Google in order to foster expansion beyond the internet search services. Google has been acquiring small venture capital corporations since 2001. Apart from acquisitions, Google has collaborated with several corporations to enhance the delivery of their services. For instance, Google collaborated with DoubleClick to enhance its Google analytics service. In addition, Google has also collaborated with AOL and Ericsson (Google Corporation, 2011).
The business level strategies involve focusing on advertising as the main source of revenue for the company. The company has since been deploying different dynamics to its advertising services. Google aims at improving the various strategies through which the internet can be used for doing business. Most of the company’s revenue are as a result of the fees that are collected from the advertisers that the company facilitates.
The initial business strategy for Google was to license the internet search services to various web sites. With innovations, the company introduced online advertising programs, whereby advertisers could place their advertisements on the company web sites and Google would direct such advertisements according to the relevance of the information search by target internet users. The payment schemes based on the number of times that the advertisements were displayed on the company’s website. During 2002, the company embarked on a self-service online advertising that was based on a cost per click, whereby an advertiser paid Google only when a internet user clicked on the advertising link placed on the Google’s website.
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