MGT 325 SEU The Smooth Sharing of Information without Restrictions Case Study


‫المملكة العربية السعودية‬
‫وزارة التعليم‬
‫الجامعة السعودية‬
Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Ministry of Education
Saudi Electronic University
College of Administrative and Financial Sciences
Assignment 3
Management of Technology (MGT 325)
Deadline: 30/04/2022 @ 23:59
Course Name: Management of
Course Code: MGT325
Student’s Name:
Semester: 2nd
Student’s ID Number:
Academic Year:2021-22
For Instructor’s Use only
Instructor’s Name:
Students’ Grade:
Marks Obtained/Out of 10
Level of Marks: High/Middle/Low
● The Assignment must be submitted on Blackboard (WORD format only) via allocated
● Assignments submitted through email will not be accepted.
● Students are advised to make their work clear and well presented, marks may be reduced
for poor presentation. This includes filling your information on the cover page.
● Students must mention question number clearly in their answer.
● Late submission will NOT be accepted.
● Avoid plagiarism, the work should be in your own words, copying from students or other
resources without proper referencing will result in ZERO marks. No exceptions.
● All answered must be typed using Times New Roman (size 12, double-spaced) font. No
pictures containing text will be accepted and will be considered plagiarism).
● Submissions without this cover page will NOT be accepted.
Course Learning Outcomes-Covered
⮚ Explain of the concepts, models for formulating strategies, defining the
organizational strategic directions and crafting a deployment strategy. (Lo
Assignment 3
Students are requested to read the opening case of chapter 10 “Organizing for
Innovation” from their book Strategic Management of Technological Innovation
(Page Number-197-200) of e-textbook. Based on your understanding of the case
and concepts studied until now answer the following question in 300-500 words
1.What are the advantages and disadvantages of the creative side of Google being
run as a flexible and flat ‘technocracy’?
(3 marks)
2. How does Google’s culture attract the kind of employees it can attract and retain.
(1.5 marks)
3.What do you believe the challenges are in having very different structure and
controls for Google’s creative side versus the other parts of the company.
(2.5 marks)
4. Some analysts have argued that Google’s free-form structure and the 20 percent
time to work on personal projects is possible only because Google is prior success
has created financial risk in the company. Do you agree with this? Would Google be
able to continue this management style if it had closer competitors?
(3 marks)
NOTE: It is mandatory for the students to mention their references, sources and
support each answer with at least 2 peer reviewed journal.
Chapter Ten
Organizing for
Organizing for Innovation at Google
Google was founded in 1998 by two Stanford Ph.D. students, Sergey Brin and
Larry Page, who had developed a formula for rank ordering random search
results by relevancy. Their formula gave rise to an incredibly powerful Internet
search engine that rapidly attracted a loyal following. The search engine enabled
users to quickly find information through a simple and intuitive user interface.
It also enabled Google to sell highly targeted advertising space.
The company grew rapidly. In 2001, Brin and Page hired Eric Schmidt, former
CTO of Sun Microsystems and former CEO of Novell, to be Google’s CEO. In
2004, the company went public, raising $1.6 billion in one of the most highly
anticipated IPOs ever. Under Schmidt, the company adhered to a broad yet disciplined mission: “To organize the world’s information and make it universally
accessible and useful.” This led the company to leverage its core search and
advertising capabilities into blogging, online payments, social networks, and
other information-driven businesses.
By 2014, Google had sales of over $66 billion, and employed more than
57,000 people. Despite this size, however, the company eschewed hierarchy
and bureaucracy and sought to maintain a small-company feel. As noted by
Schmidt during an interview, “Innovation always has been driven by a person or
a small team that has the luxury of thinking of a new idea and pursuing it. There
are no counter examples. It was true 100 years ago and it’ll be true for the next
100 years. Innovation is something that comes when you’re not under the gun.
So it’s important that, even if you don’t have balance in your life, you have some
time for reflection. So that you could say, ‘Well, maybe I’m not working on the
right thing.’ Or, ‘maybe I should have this new idea.’ The creative parts of one’s
mind are not on schedule.”a
In accordance with this belief, Google’s engineers were organized into small
technology teams with considerable decision-making authority. Every aspect of
the headquarters, from the shared offices with couches, to the recreation facilities
and the large communal cafe known as “Charlie’s Place,” was designed to foster
226 Part Three Implementing Technological Innovation Strategy
informal communication and collaboration.b Managers referred to Google as a flexible and flat “technocracy,” where resources and control were allocated based on
the quality of people’s ideas rather than seniority or hierarchical status. Schmidt
remarked, “One of the things that we’ve tried very hard to avoid at Google is the
sort of divisional structure that prevents collaboration across units. It’s difficult. So I
understand why people want to build business units, and have their presidents. But
by doing that you cut down the informal ties that, in an open culture, drive so much
collaboration. If people in the organization understand the values of the company,
they should be able to self-organize to work on the most interesting problems.”c
A key ingredient in Google’s organization is an incentive system that requires
all technical personnel to spend 20 percent of their time on innovative projects of their own choosing. This budget for innovation is not merely a device
for creating slack in the organization for creative employees—it is an aggressive mandate that employees develop new product ideas. As noted by one
Google engineer, “This isn’t a matter of doing something in your spare time, but
more of actively making time for it. Heck, I don’t have a good 20% project yet
and I need one. If I don’t come up with something I’m sure it could negatively
impact my review.”d Managers face similar incentives. Each manager is required
to spend 70 ­percent of his or her time on the core business, 20 percent on
related-but-­different projects, and 10 percent on entirely new products. According to Marissa Mayer, Google’s head of search products and user experience, a
significant portion of Google’s new products and features (including Gmail and
AdSense) resulted from the 20 percent time investments of Google engineers.
In 2015, the company was reorganized into Alphabet Inc., a holding company, wherein Google and other divisions such as Access, Calico, CapitalG,
Nest, and others were wholly owned subsidiaries. The divisions retained their
flat and flexible reporting structures.e
In a podcast interview at Stanford ­University, Andy Grove (former CEO of Intel)
remarked that the company’s organization appeared chaotic, even noting “From
the outside it looks like Google’s organizational structure is best described by . . .
Brownian motion in an expanding model” and questioned whether Schmidt
believed this model would continue to work forever. In his response, Schmidt
responded, “There’s an important secret to tell, which is there are parts of the
company that are not run chaotically. Our legal department, our finances. Our
sales force has normal sales quotas. Our normal strategic planning activities, our
normal investment activities, our M&A activities are run in a very traditional way.
So the part of Google that gets all the attention is the creative side, the part where
new products are being built and designed, and that is different. And it looks to
us like that model will scale for quite some time . . . it looks like small teams can
run ahead and that we can replicate that model for that part of the company.”f
Discussion Questions
1. What are the advantages and disadvantages of the creative side of Google
being run as a flexible and flat “technocracy”?
2. How does Google’s culture influence the kind of employees it can attract
and retain?

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