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Google Case Study

Essay by   •  November 27, 2012  •  Case Study  •  2,035 Words (9 Pages)  •  1,603 Views

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When establishing Google, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, the founders, have taken into consideration occupational characteristics and hygiene factors to enhance the self-determination of employees. They provide impressive extrinsic and intrinsic rewards to motivate their staff. Some of the benefits Google Australia employees enjoy are flexible working hours, unlimited sick leave, educational expenses to the value of $6,000 per year, free food, etc. Google bestow in their employees the confidence that the efforts of their labour help people globally access information from the programs it creates, giving them a sense of intrinsic motivation. These inducements have earned Google a reputation of being a great place to work. However, despite these incentives Google demands a high performance level with intense work periods in return which can have a large impact on the work-life balance, through stress, reduced social interaction, etc. While such an unstructured work environment may suit some, others will find such ingenuity overwhelming and maybe unable to function effectively in such an atmosphere.

There have been many studies completed into what motivates staff and despite many of the being completed in the early to mid 1900's, they are still very relevant today. The report explores the intricate formation of human nature that motivates employees through both intrinsic and extrinsic motivations and how they can have both a positive and negative effect on an employee. These two approaches have received extensive approval for their capacity to generate an environment that is able to assimilate both individual and managerial purpose. (Reif, 1975) It needs to be considered that whilst intrinsic and extrinsic motivators intend to have a positive effect, the opposite can happen. A good management team will utilize both of these factors to its advantage to ensure they achieve optimum performance from their employees. Organisations who have the courage to put employees first are likely to be more successful as they value the opinions of the people completing the work and this in turn builds high levels of commitment and motivation. Managers who do not take these factors into consideration will have a lower production capability and a higher chance of a disgruntled staff.



The first approach is based on the postulation that workers are motivated by job subject adaptability or motivators, also known as intrinsic motivators. The internal driving force of individual performance is a complex structure of numerous factors, aspirations, goals, determination, personal competencies, psychological achievements and deficiencies (Blaskova, 2009). Through this intricate process of human behaviour, managers need to take into consideration the intrinsic motivational factors. Fredrick Hertzberg's research suggests that the motivation of a work force is influenced by two factors which are identified as satisfier factors and hygiene factors. Satisfier factors directly relate to the characteristics of one's job description and include aspects such as the work itself, achievement, recognition, responsibility and the prospects of both personal and professional development.

Abraham Maslow's theory of hierarchy needs suggests that people have lower order needs which consist of psychological, safety and social desires whilst higher order needs related to esteem and self actualization interests. Maslow expresses that a person will only progress through meeting their needs one level at a time and that once their lower order needs have been satisfied then higher order needs will be stimulated.

Empowerment is also an intrinsic motivator in respect to one's own career. Both interpretive methods and global evaluation have a significant effect on whether an individual will feel empowered in relation to their own professional aspirations or beleaguered or disheartened by the vast opportunities. (N. Quigley, et al, 2006). Therefore a manager who adopts the self-efficacy theory and helps to develop or enhance an employee's sense of confidence, capability and proficiency, will increase the motivation of their staff. However, it needs to be considered that every individual is either born with or develops in early childhood a distinctive set of character traits and ability which can make the difference when relating to their accomplishments and disappointments. (C. Robinson, 2010). By instilling belief in a person that they are capable of completing their tasks and boosting their confidence improves ones motivation. For managers to be successful they need to adopt the self-efficacy theory giving their subordinates positive feedback that will boost their thoughts of personal ability, self-assurance and talent as well as giving the employees the right to be heard. These techniques will ultimately lift motivation levels of staff.

As employee job satisfaction influences a company's performance and the numerous procedures of worker interests, firms need to bear in mind the differences and distinctive challenges of a multicultural work force and multinational corporations. They need to formulate management values and guidelines that create an environment that benefits both the employer and employee along with the community in general. (J. Westover, 2012). Globalisation has given many corporations new challenges in order for them to perceive discrete factors and ensure that the corporation make workplace adjustments which will help to inspire employees across cultural boundaries whilst at the same time enhances their intrinsic motivation levels and performance of employees.


The second approach to stimulating staff is through extrinsic motivation. '...job satisfaction and organizational commitment are closely linked, and are both very important for general organization success. Thus it is in every employer's interest to have an understanding of what variable lead to key increases in work satisfaction and organization commitment' (J. Westover, et al, 2010, p. 381). For this reason, organisations need to explore factors such as the age, gender, education, talent, remuneration and passion when conceiving extrinsic motivational incentives. It is also enforced that individuals have differing value or needs and that understanding your employees is essential.

Hertzberg's theory is that employees are influenced by remuneration, structuring the work environment through policies, regulations and conditions, managerial attributes and positive relationships with co-workers.



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