Annika Steiber at Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden spent nearly a year studying how Google is managed so as to be able to maintain its high innovative capacity. She also conducted in-depth interviews with its employees.
"Many factors play a huge role, above all the corporate culture that the founders brought with them from the outset and that has then been deliberately developed to steer the whole company in the direction of constant innovation," says Steiber, who is now presenting her doctoral dissertation.
"It's also striking to see the focus Google has when it comes to bringing in the right individuals to the company and developing them," ad¬ds Steiber, according to a Chalmers statement.
These two factors interact. The status of the individual is very strong at Google. The company devotes great resources to comprehensive recruitment processes in which many associates have their say in order to bring in the right people for the organization.
Thereby the company ensures that people with differing experience and backgrounds come to Google, at the same time as they cultivate a shared set of values regarding behaviour among colleagues, but also toward the outside world, according to Steiber.
The organization is also structured to reinforce the culture and to help its individuals to perform and create innovations in line with the company philosophy. Being "Googley" means that an employee behaves in accordance with company values.
This concept is internally documented today at Google and consists of 11 "characteristics". Three of them are having a passion to change the world through the Internet, being smart, and being non-political.
Doing good is a fourth - "Don't be evil." Many interviewees testified that they were attracted to the company because of these stated values.
The study of Google is the first empirical research study of its kind in the world. It can serve as a foundation for a better understanding of how companies can manage and organise themselves to attain a higher degree of innovation, according to Steiber.