Can Google get Any Bigger?

“Adding up the Asian Equation at Google” (Dunn, 2014) suggests that the tech giant has a diversity problem.  Although the company has a rich history of success and innovation, upper-echelon leadership can take Google to the next level through utilizing transformational leadership tactics.  Specifically, they can improve through inspiring diversity, changing employee priorities and by achieving more by doing things in new ways (Phillips & Gully, p. 432).

Transformational leaders motivate followers to adopt their goals through communicating an inspirational vision. Google recently released its diversity statistics, acknowledging their shortcoming. In the past, it’s possible that Google focused on the task at hand verses focusing on the people. They were successful by providing clearly defined goals for its employees, but they should shift to a focus on people to remain competitive in innovation. Specifically, they should enthusiastically encourage diversity, as performance increases when employees have a positive attitude toward diversity (Phillips & Gully, p.42). Google’s strong leaders recognize the value of diversity, however, and have poured a great deal of resources into equipping women and African Americans with skills to be competitive. This is a bigger problem than Google, however, as college graduates in general do not reflect America’s population, especially degrees in science or math. This limits the pool to recruit from, but with an optimistic vision that values diversely, leaders will be able to hire, retain, and engage the best talent, leading to increased performance (Phillips & Gully, p.42).

Diversity is a competitive advantage and studies show that diverse groups problem solve more effectively than non-diverse groups (Phillips & Gully, p.43).  This is because employees leverage their professional and personal backgrounds to develop a more comprehensive view of the problem, leading to a broader list of possible solutions.  Thus, diversity achieving more through creativity and innovation, which is precisely what Google is looking to achieve.

 

 

 

Resources

Dunn, K. (2014, August 8). Adding up the Asian Equation at Google.  Talent Management.  Retrieved from

http://talentmgt.com/articles/6687-adding-up-the-asian-equation-at-google

Philips, J. & Gully, S. (2014). Organizational Behavior (2e). Mason: South-Western.

 

One Comment

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  1. LED501MQ says:

    While a lack of diversity can be a competitive disadvantage, I believe it is merely a temporary problem for Google. An article in USA Today (Guynn & Weise, 2014) revealed that Google is both aware and disturbed by their lack of workforce diversity and that they are taking several steps to combat the problem. First, “Google… say[s] they are increasing investments in education and outreach to draft more young people into the technology field, especially those who must overcome disadvantages such as poverty, troubled neighborhoods and low-performing schools” (Guynn & Weise, 2014, para. 22). This is a great approach for multiple reasons: by funding the education of the disadvantaged, they can create the diverse workforce they need and simultaneously inspire positive publicity for their brand name as a flagship for workforce diversity. Secondly, Google is offering training to current employees to combat unconscious bias. Though Silicon Valley has often been called a meritocracy, there are many who believe it is a “mirror-ocracy”–that people are hired based on their similarity to the hiring party. Google wants to eliminate this hiring bias, but also intends to go out of their way to hire women and minorities. In short, Google is a great company because its senior leadership recognizes the company’s weaknesses and responds by generating viable, intelligent solutions. This adaptive and realistic approach to business has made them one of the top companies in the world and I doubt they will slow down any time soon.

    References

    Guynn, J. & Weise, E. (2014, August 15). Lack of Diversity. Retrieved September 12, 2014, from USA Today: http://www.usatoday.com/story/tech/2014/06/26/silicon-valley-tech-diversity-white-asian-black-hispanic-google-facebook-yahoo/11372421/

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