How Does Google's Organisational Structure Contribute to its Innovative Nature?

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Kristian H. Foged

Business and Management SL – 2.U


Internal Assessment:



Essay Question:

  1. How does Google’s organisational structure contribute to its innovative nature?

By Kristian H. Foged

Word Count:        1,479



  1. Introduction                                                                                3

  2. Organisational Theory and Design                                                3

  3. Motivation                                                                                4

  4. Innovative Nature                                                                        5

  5. Conclusion                                                                                6

  6. Bibliography                                                                                7

  1. Introduction

        “Google's mission is to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful.” This is probably one of, if not the, most ambitious mission statement for any company worldwide. Shockingly, however, it seems that this statement may be feasible.

        On its path to achieving its mission statement, Google has managed to pull in all the stops and has tried to provide every service it can think of to its consumers. By providing a range of services and a diversity of types of information online, Google has been named the most innovative company of 2007 by Fast Company magazine. And through its radical working environment, facilities and services open to its employees it has also been acknowledged as the number one place to work by Fortune Magazine the past two years.

        With two acknowledgements as large as those the question that I will try to answer in the following essay is how does Google’s organisational structure contribute to its innovative nature? I will look into organisational theory, find how Google organises its staff and try to build an understanding of the innovative nature that surrounds Google.


  1. Organisational Theory and Design

        Google’s philosophy regarding organisational design is that the fewer levels of hierarchy and rigid departmental structures, the better. This is very similar to what is called the “Natural System Design” approach. The Natural System Design is the theory that contrasts the Mechanical System Design, see Diagram below to see how they each perceive staff. The five elements to this design theory are: horizontal structure, adaptive culture, empowered roles, shared information and collaborative strategy, most of which can be detected in Google.

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Google’s horizontal structure ideas mean that rather than managers having departments for each specification, it has workers “continuously forming and reforming into self-directed teams that work on specific projects,” this means that the vertical hierarchy has very few people in managerial positions, considering that Google has grown to over 10’000 employees worldwide. The Director of Web Products at Google, Marissa Mayer, explains this by saying that “Small teams can self-organize quickly, they can finish projects quickly, and they can move onto new projects quickly.

        Google employees ...

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