In order to understand just how Google has revolutionized organizational culture, it is necessary to explore the culture that existed prior to Google’s approach to management and organizational behavior. In the immediate aftermath of the First World War, General Motors emerged as one of the world’s largest corporate structures. The emphasis was on controls via finance and statistics, mass production, assembly lines organized by virtue of science, automatic divisions, and standardization. Mass production and mass distribution gave way to consumerism which was partly facilitated by credit facilities, self-services, aggressive advertising, brands and media networking (Girard 2009, 1).
By the 1980s the Toyota Motor Corporation epitomized industrialized corporations that emphasized the quality of goods together with a “corporate culture of continuous refinement” (Girard 2009, 1-2). By all accounts, Google is restructuring management values and the way that companies’ staff work as well as how “people are managed” and how “organizations are controlled” (Grirad 2009, 2).
Google’s organizational culture was entirely unique from the beginning. This unique organizational culture grew along with the company. Initially, employees used desks that were no more than doors set over sawhorses and their chairs were typically exercise balls made of rubber. A company chef was hired to prepare healthy meals for the staff and a couple of times a week, the employees would engage in roller hockey in the parking lot (Dyck and Neubert 2008, 194). Other signs of Google’s unconventional work environment are found at Google’s headquarters where “high tech” Japanese commodes with heated seats are installed (Daft 2009, 382). Additionally, a flier on the restroom door reads “Testing on the Toilet” and true to form a quiz calculated to stimulate the brain is offered to .software engineers at intervals spanning over a few weeks.