Managing Conflict in Google's Corporate Culture

1153 words 5 pages
Google has evolved significantly since its debut in 1998. It has gone from an oddity (“Hey, have you heard about that new search site, Google?”) to a household name (“Why don't you check and see what Google has on that subject?”) to a verb synonymous with Internet search (“Google me. I'm a pretty big deal.”). A behind the scenes look at the corporate culture driving this company will reveal how Google has managed to gain such coveted permanence in daily life, how it will manage to stay in its place as the top search engine, and how it will maintain its relevance in the technology market. One definition of culture from Merriam-Webster Online (2010) is “the set of shared attitudes, values, goals, and practices that characterizes an …show more content…

Google sets the stage for conflict by virtue of its industry. It needs to remain on the cutting edge of technology if it is to attract the clientele it needs to remain profitable. This edge is actually an apex where all the disciplines involved in technology development meet. The site must be visually appealing; this requires artistic people. The site must return the most relevant information for the searches conducted; this requires people adept with coding. The site has to be tested to ensure it is fulfilling its purpose; this calls for statisticians who are good with numbers and interpreting data. The desires of the artistic group may be limited by the coding group's ability. Even that collaboration can be altered by the data collected by the statisticians. After Google developed its eighth iteration, conflict appeared in an encouraging and helpful way. Walters (2010) describes this conflict and shows Google's step-by-step approach to vetting new products. The first step is releasing a prototype for “dogfooding,” a process that lets Google employees opt to test the new product. In a big company, candid feedback might be an issues. However, because Google promotes its small business feel, employees can speak about their problems with the prototype without fear of repercussion or isolation. Feedback is given on the design and bugs that may have escaped the eye of the designers, and then researchers sit with test subjects through an hour of eyetracking


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