KEEPING THE CLOUD COMPUTING MASTERMIND HAPPY
Carmen M. Roman
Dr. Sal Mirza
Leadership Strategies (MGT-550)
May 5, 2013
History Google began in January 1996 as a research project by Larry Page and Sergey Brin when they were both PhD students at Stanford University in California, and has turned into one of the largest search engines on the web. Building an entrepreneurial culture entails encouraging and challenging employees to become innovators and discover new opportunities by taking various challenges and risks. For employees, according to Media Maxim (2010), Google’s “20 percent time” policy gives them a sense of empowerment. True to its open-sources and wisdom-of-the-crowd ideals, Google has created a networked management that functions from the bottom-up as well as the top-down; in both directions, it unleashes ideas and effort. Recall Larry Page’s astute observation: “You want to have a culture where the people who are doing the work, the scientists and the engineers, are empowered. And that they are managed by people who deeply understand what they are doing.”
Determine the leadership styles and qualities used by both Google management and by Bisciglia in this case and which one is more effective. Justify your answers.
The leadership styles used by Google’s Management in this case is Laisezz-Fare leadership. It is a form of leadership in which complete autonomy and freedom is given to the subordinates. In this case, the company autonomy and freedom to Bisciglia was given complete freedom to work on his new idea. Further, Google’s 20 percent time program is also an example of Laisezz Fare Leadership.
Laissez-faire leadership is a non-authoritarian management style that allows employees to work without much supervision. This style is another approach to group leadership. Sometimes referred to as hands-off method, this type of approach essentially provides the group with the resources needed to accomplish assigned tasks, then steps out of the way and allow the group members to complete the necessary tasks with little to no direct involvement by the group leader. With this approach, the group leader remains available to answer questions, to motivate, and to assist when and as desired by the group members, but otherwise remains somewhat detached from the process. Laissez-faire leadership attempts to achieve the control activities in a subtle manner. For example, rather than being directly involved with how employees complete daily activities, the laissez-fair leader leaves the workers to their own devices. These leaders tend to believe that employees work better when given a set of directives and then left alone to accomplish tasks. In short, an employee’s self-interest for creating methods to work in a company is best under laissez-faire leadership principles.
The leadership style displayed by Bisciglia was Transformational leadership. He inspired the recruits by telling them about the bigger picture and view of the future by telling them to dream and learn to work on a very large scale. He injected passion into the recruits by providing them information on exciting future developments.Transformational leadership is a leadership style where a leader is passionate about his work and is consistently concerned with those he leads. Through a vision of change for the organization, the transformational leader aims to inspire workers throughout the company to support that vision. Not only do transformational leaders seek to change business and those they supervise, but they typically strive to change themselves, as well.In transformational leaders are a charismatic individual that drives an organization toward success, and changes are their primary focus in every aspect of business.This type of leader serves as a role model for the workers and builds confidence in his leadership by earning their trust and admiration.In relation to the worker, the transformational leader typically listens, resolves problems, and motivates with great enthusiasm. The transformational leadership style usually prompts the leader to work closely with employees to ensure that their needs are being met through a focus on liberty, justice, equality, and the well being of all. A transformational leader might also call on workers to exceed goals beyond their expectations. The transformational leader typically does not demand of others what he is not willing to do himself.While the transformational leader inspires others to follow his vision, he also encourages workers to identify problems and propose new solutions. Through this approach, the transformational leader typically is capable of involving everyone in the organization in the change process. Under the transformational leadership style, workers usually are never punished for their views and their intellectual contributions to business are valued.
In my opinion, both leadership styles have their own merits in this case. The laissez-fare leadership style encourages innovation and allows the employees to think out of the box and create something new and innovative by working in a flexible manner. At the same time, transformational leadership is a leadership style that ignites passion and enthusiasm among followers to follow the leader towards the desired direction.If I have to select one for effectiveness, I would select Laisezz fare leadership style because it provides a strong platform for achieving innovation and creativity in the workplace. It works as a great motivator for employees because they are able to work in a stress free and flexible manner. Laissez Fare leadership brings the best out the employees by providing them complete autonomy.
Analyze how situational leadership is relevant to this case
Situational leadership is relevant in this case in the sense that Google’s management have to decide on the best leadership approach to keep the highly talented Bisciglia happy and motivated. They need to adopt the approach that provides him adequate resources, freedom to achieve his goals and objectives. At the same time, they cannot provide special treatment to him, as it would make other employees unhappy. Hence, they need to modify their leadership approach in light of the situation. The purpose of the situational leadership model is to benefit both the leader and the employee equally, and to allow them to both get what they need from the work relationship. Google Inc. has a very clear mission, which is “organize the world‘s information and make it universally accessible and useful.” Their vision is not so clearly outlined but can be concluded through a quote by Page; Google will strive to be “the perfect search engine [that] would understand exactly what you mean and give back exactly what you want.” (“Google Company”)There are many different, highly specific varieties of the situational leadership model for different business environments or specific task-oriented jobs, but these are the general principles. The ability of a manager to adjust his or her leadership or management style to each individual employee or situation, will help to ensure that everyone succeeds at their jobs, and feels satisfied at the end of the day. The situational leadership model is one of the most often referenced models, because rather than focusing on any inherent traits or skills of the leader, it is focused on the ability of the leader to assess the situation and adjust his or her leadership tactics accordingly.According to the proponents of this theory, the ability to adjust leadership methods to each situation, or even to each employee is one of the best ways to develop an effective, productive workplace.
Examine the Google 20 percent time program and its impact on employee and organizational performance.
Google’s 20 percent time program is an excellent approach to foster creativity and innovation at Google. Google’s highly innovative culture that has led to the development of numerous innovations at Google has been the result of flexibility, autonomy and freedom enabled by the Google’s 20 percent time program. It has significant impact on the moral, motivation and productivity levels of employees as justified by the fact that employees considerGoogle to be one of the best workplaces for working. Google’s methods attract top talent because their management focuses on controlling through shared vision. Where many companies have bureaucratic and linear controls, Google allows employees to set and maintain their own standards. These open policies translate into a distinctive corporate structure that inspires good nature and guidance. Employees love to work at Google, but not just because of perks such as flexible work time and bonuses, they also love the work that comes from the cross-functional leadership structure.Further, the significant number of innovative technologies developed at Google has been made possible by this program.
The company’s leadership allows employees to change the parameters of their jobs when needed. Employees are encouraged to be their own leaders, evaluate their jobs and then propose better ways to do their jobs. Google’s leaders want their employees to “think out the box,” and have open discussions about their goals and plans for achievement. The structure promotes corporate transparency because employees are able to witness and contribute to the leadership function. As a result, almost every employee has access to almost any managerial meeting. Google’s management realizes that every employee has a stake in the company and employees in turn feel a responsibility for the outcome of the company’s projects.
Determine if Google as a company has a preferred leadership style and its impact on organizational performance.
I think that the preferred leadership style at Google is transformational,as they always tend to provide lot of flexibility, autonomy and freedom to employees.Leaders motivate, give intellectual simulation, individualized consideration. By following these styles of leadership, leaders increase the level of satisfaction, morale, and higher productivity in employees. Leaders encourage their group members to be more innovative and creative by letting members communicate in a less stressful and casual environment. There are no official channels hence ideas flow more fluently and are implemented quickly within a group. Employees are given some level of empowerment by allowing them to make decisions in day-to-day activities. Hierarchy in the company is runs lateral instead of vertical. The structure is flat to maximize creativity. Leaders show authenticity by building trust among the group. Increasing communication and building trust among individuals do the teamwork in collaboration. By giving intrinsic rewards like small groups and no real hierarchy and providing individuals with the sense of purpose helps Google to become a success. Management gives some personal time to employees to utilize in thinking creatively. By providing the employees with time for freedom to explore, Management keeps the employees excited and involved in their goal with a purpose. By providing intellectual stimulation and individualized consideration transformational leaders create on environment for Google employees, Google culture and the Organization itself to thrive.“Google Inc.’s radical decentralized approach to management structure is due to Google, Inc.’s founder’s belief that breakthroughs come from questioning assumptions and smashing paradigms. Their motto is “Do not do something because someone told you to do so.” There is no time for middle managers or type “A” personalities. Group interaction is the fuel for Google, Inc.’s ideas. The decision making process is highly consulting not the traditional control and command. Google, Inc. thrives in “I think I can” culture, not the traditional “no you can’t” bureaucracy.”(Cook, 2011)Even though employee’s performance are monitored and leadership guides and provides direction to the employees, the culture of Google is quite free and provides flexibility and autonomy to employees to think and work on their own. The style often works best where employees are self-starters and have personal motivation that leads to their working successfully.
The major impact of this approach has been high level of employee satisfaction, high level of productivity and a creative and innovative workforce that has led to the development of numerous innovative technologies in the organization.
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