Google case study

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Google Case Study

  1. Introduction

Management and strategic decisions are important in organization development. A successful organization requires the different stakeholders including the employees to collaborate and work together to ensure objectives and goals are achieved. These processes require employees and the employees should understand the goals, and contribute towards achieving these goals. However, problems may occur that affects the efficiency of the team and the entire organization. These problems are evident in the case study, which talks about Julie and Google. Google operates in the information technology industry while Julie has extensive experience in the ineffective team both at the workplace and at the college. The aim of the paper is to analyze identified issues and problems evident in the case study, identify possible solutions, proposed appropriate solution, and provide recommendations.

  1. Background

Julia has experiences working in isolated environments in which team work is not encouraged. Julia situations and experiences at the workplace and pursuing Master’s degree provides issues associated with complex working relationships. The major problems arose at the university where the team members had different views and approaches in accomplishing assigned duties. Julia tried her best to engage and ensure the university team operates effectively, but the members approached the learning in an inappropriate manner. Julia states that engaging an individual in the absence of the team is easier compared with engaging the individual within the team. These aspects are different when compared with other teams within the same class and university. It raises divergent views in advancing the requirements of team work.

Google is a large organization that employs thousands of employees from different backgrounds. Some of the teams are effective while others are ineffective. To determine the team dynamics, Google decided to carry out a Project Aristotle. Julia was research in the Project Aristotle and was able to interview different teams and individuals. Julia, through the Project Aristotle, states that cultural norms influence teamwork. Such team dynamics and requirements are evident in the example of Matt, who is a middle-level manager responsible for technical operations. Engaging with Julia, further information was evident even though the original arguments were that the teams managed by Matt were effective. Hence, working in team environment creates numerous challenges, and effective strategies are required to ensure the team operates effectively.

  1. Identification of Issues and Problems

The following are some of the problems evident in the case study:

    1. Lack of harmony within the teams

Teams are required to work in harmony through collaborating and supporting each other. The contribution of the different team members within the team should advance strategic requirements. The interpersonal relationship is crucial both within the team and in a one-to-one capacity, to ensure the team operates harmoniously (Cameron, 2014, p. 32). However, in the instance of Julia at the university, when Julia engaged a single team member, the engagement was successful, but when the team members come together, problems arise. In the same case, within Google, the teams operate effectively, but there are problems of harmonize operations as indicated by the Matt scenario. Hence, lack of harmonious team is a major problem in advancing team work and is evident in the case study.

    1. Organizational structures within the team

Successful teams have to work together with clear roles and responsibilities. There are instances of general discussions and contribution to decision making, but, there is that final authority (Batra, 2011, p. 101). The decisions have to be made and a single individual should be responsible or oversee the decision making. Determining the leader of the team and giving the team leader opportunity to guide and lead the team is important. The leader should also be given authority and limitations on their respective approach to accomplishing the requirements of the team (Cullum, 2013, p. 254). In Julia’s university team, the lack of effective leader creates challenges because of the absence of individual leading the team. Hence, organizational structures are integral in successful and effective teams.

    1. Position of different individuals within the team

The team members’ appreciation of their different positions within teams is important. Teams come with assigned goals, and the team members have to allocate each other activities and duties, with clear milestones and expectations. The individuals have to appreciate their respective positions and contribute to advancing the requirements of the team (Batra, 2011, p. 102). The problem is evident in the case of Julia at the university. Teams that do not respect positions and roles within the teams inhibits the effectiveness of the team.

    1. Focus on the purpose of the team or meeting

The team has goals and expectations, and any team should concentrate on the achievement of the goals. The university team was tasked with sharing and collaborating in accomplishing learning requirements (Mosser and Begun, 2013, p. 24). The team members were required to contribute whether in the discussions or simulations, but problems were evident. Within the Google teams, Matt carried out an overview of the different employees and found there were problems. It may illustrate the teams operates harmoniously but may not last long. Hence, the solution is focusing on the purpose of the team and strategize towards achieving team requirements.

  1. Possible Solutions

The following are some of the solutions towards the identified issues and problems:

    1. Team Bonding/Building Solutions

Team building is a term that is utilized in classifying various activities that are utilized in enhancing social relations and enables definition of roles within the teams. In team building, collaborative tasks are common, which are aimed at improving interpersonal relations. It is different from team training since team training is focusing on the improvement of efficiency rather that interpersonal relations (Mosser and Begun, 2013, p. 25). Team building finds solutions to team problems, reduces team ambiguity, advancing effective working relationships and aligning around goals. Utilizing team building is an appropriate solution to address the problems highlighted in the case study. The focus of the case study is teams and engaging in effective team building ensures the challenges and concerns are addressed through breaking inefficiencies due to dynamics.

    1. Effective communication

Effective communication is a component that helps individuals deepen individual connections with others and improve problem solving, decision making and teamwork (Salas and Frush, 2012, p. 82). Communication is exchanging information, and intentions and emotion concerns behind the information are important. Effective communication does not consider only the manner in which the information is exchanged but also whether the listener understands and gain the fill meaning of the information (Shiraev, 2013, p. 12). Some of the variables associated with effective communication include communicate assertively, management if stress at the moment, engaged listening, utilization of nonverbal communication, and recognizing the emotional situation of entities involved. For example, Julia should have raised her concerns about the ineffectiveness of the team during the engagement period. For instance, allowing a team member to present their respective ideas in a systematic manner.

    1. Restructuring teams

Sometimes effective communication and team building may be employed in addressing team problems, but the teams may not be effective. The solution is restructuring the team through reassigning duties and responsibilities (Mosser and Begun, 2013, p. 24). The team members may be reassigned into other teams, and the team members asked the reasons associated with their lack of cohesion in the team (Batra, 2011, p. 101). Viewed from a different perspective, restricting the teams may send a wrong message because the reassigned individuals may be demoralized and lack of intention to complete the assignments and duties accordingly. Hence, the restructuring of team process should consider these requirements in developing a successful and effective teams.

  1. Proposed Solutions

Team building is the proposed strategy to address the problems in Julia and Google problems. Numerous activities are involved in team building such as communication, pressures, and expectations. Participating in demanding team building activities pushes the teams to the extreme, meaning it is possible to identify the problems and propose appropriate solutions.

  1. Recommendations

    1. Situational and transformative leadership should be encouraged because it enables identification of problems and formulation and implementation of strategies based on the current situation.

    2. Learning organization – a learning organization is a business term that is given to an organization that facilitates the learning and continuous development of members, as the organization continues to transform. The internal and external business environment keeps changing, and an organization should utilize the shortcomings in developing structures and processes to prevent a repeat of identified shortcomings. It ensures the mistakes and successful are utilized in formulating future strategies while capitalizing on the success and mitigating the shortcomings.

    3. Combining different organizational requirements including effective communication, conflict resolution strategies, and group activities (Salas and Frush, 2012, p. 82). The aim of utilizing these different strategies is not only targeted on the team rather the entire operations of the company. Companies operate in different environments and scenarios meaning a combination of these processes are important in advancing goals and objectives of a company.


Batra, S. 2011. Organisation development systems. London: Concept Publishing Company.

Cameron, G. 2014. Authentic African leadership: authentic African leaders defined and the techniques that made them great. Sydney: Real African Publishers.

Cullum, R. 2013. Handbook of engineering design. New York: Elsevier.

Mosser, G., and Begun, J. 2013. Understanding teamwork in health care. Sydney: McGraw Hill Professional.

Salas, E., and Frush, K. 2012. Improving patient safety through teamwork and team training. New York: OUP USA.

Shiraev, T. 2013. How to get into medical school in Australia: the definitive guide to applying to medical school. Sydney: Anthem Press.