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Growth, diversity, and success of many companies all over the world are very much dependent on the way the company is handled by its management team (Willmont 1993). According to the words of Pasmore (2009), management of a particular company has a key role in making sure that a particular company achieves goals and objectives that it has already set out initially.
According to Lesley & Bruce (2000), policies set by top personnel of any particular company, irrespective of company's size, influence the way the company will survive in future. Many companies, whose future had been predicted to be bright, have sunk all due to poor management practices and decisions of top personnel. Others have found monumental success and managed to survive numerous storms and have retained their relevance in the business world today. All this is levered down to the way a particular company is wired up. Good management policies translate to success and poor policies translate into monumental failure (Mowat 2002).
Argyris (1990) quoted in Dooley (n.d.) states that management policies and practices in different companies are also very much differentiated. This differentiation in management policies comes as a result of diversity in a number of factors such as culture, demography, and government policies that affect the company or industry, competition encountered by the company from others in the industry, or even the size of the company (Brian & Joyce 2007). According to Snow et al (1978), one particular management policy and practice can work miracles in one company and fail miserably in the other company due to differences in factors faced by each company, as have been stated earlier.
This paper aims at studying two companies that have been in business for some time and could be categorized as successful in whatever they undertake. The two companies could be equal in size and scope, but they are separated from each other geographically. The paper will investigate management policies applied in both companies irrespective of their geographic locality and bring out differences as well as similarities. The paper will also try to explore weak points in management structures and cultures of two companies as well as their strengths and try to see what each company can borrow from the other and apply it effectively to improve its own structure. The two companies under investigation are Yamaha Corporation in Japan and Google Corporation in the United States of America.
2.0 Google Corporation: History
Google Corporationis a company that was established in 1996 by two young innovators, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, who had to wait until 1998 when it was first put into the market. The company took off with the financial help of co-founder of The Sun, Andy Bechtolsheim, who wrote founders a cheque of $ 100,000. It has its headquarters in Amphitheatre Parkway, California. At its inception, the company had less than 10 workers, but this number has increased to more than 10,000 workers by the year 2012 (Google Company Website 2012).
2.0.1 Products and services of the company
As an IT company, major products and services that the company offers fall into category of technology. There are several products that are currently offered by Google. These products are described further in the paper.
Almost all of Google’s revenue (over 90%) is received from its advertising programs. Google has had massive breakthroughs in the world of advertising. This is mainly because Google uses a number of innovations and has blended them well to create what is deemed to be the most powerful, effective, fast, and efficient online advertising engine in the world. Google utilizes features such as double-click technology, which allows the company to determine relevant ad features to display depending on the type of adverts they click once. The company also allows website owners to keep a track on how people view and use their websites. Also, through the AdSense platform, these websites can make money depending on the number of clicks that they receive on their sites (Google Inc. Market Watch, 2012).
2.0.2 Google search engine
This could be, by far one of the best products Google has ever engineered. It is the most popular product of the company. Google search engine is the most popular search engine in the world, commanding over 65% of the market share. Through the use of key words and operators, users can search for information they are interested in among billions of pages indexed by Google. The search engine has developed new and better features such as image search engines, Google news, Google maps among others.
2.0.3 Emailing tools and products
Google launched a new emailing platform, Gmail, an emailing service and released it free of charge to members of the public in 2007. Hand in hand with Gmail is the Google Docs, a suite that allows users to create, edit, print, or put together documents online without having to download it first (Google Inc. Market Watch 2012).
2.0.4 Google Apps
This is another great product of Google. Google Apps offers concentration of many applications that are ready to be used and customized for a host of applications and business organizations. Examples include Google Apps for business, Google Apps for Education, and Google Apps for Government, and other specialized Apps like geospatial solutions Apps.
2.0.5 Other products from Google
Google Corporation has also diversified into a host of other products such as Google news, Google phones, Google translation services, and Google Wallet, a mobile phone application for wireless transfer of funds (Google Inc. Market Watch 2012).
2.0.6 Management style and structure of Google Inc
This part of the paper looks at the management style of Google but first, an introduction to the top structure is outlined below.
2.0.6 (a) Corporate structure of Google
At the head of the company is CEO, who is responsible for handling day-to-day affairs of the company. He is appointed by the chairman and the board of directors. Vice presidents of various divisions in the company follow next, then other senior officers follow at the hierarchy, and finally senior officers insubordinate other officers and employees (Google Inc. Market Watch 2012).
2.0.6 (b) The management culture and style of Google Corporation
Google is highly accredited for having a very informal corporate culture. Employees are not forced to wear suits of be in official attire. The management of the company is more concerned with finding talent as opposed to concentrating on formality concepts. Most of the employees and engineers in this company are of middle age.
They believe that work can be challenging and fun without bringing in the concept of formality. There is a lot of casualness in the company. Managers give workers the freedom to undertake whatever they feel like doing provided they achieve their targets.
Emphasis on research and development
Priority is given to research and development with engineers being given the freedom to work on projects that they initiate themselves. The management places strong emphasis on research and development of projects. Google is a telecommunication company, whose undertakings entail utilization of the latest technology in the wider communication industry. It is important for Google to stay ahead of its competitors, and the best way to do this is to ensure that the research and development department is working effectively to channel out new products.
Young generation of employees
Average age of employees in this company is at the middle age level. Most of the employees here are young and talented. The company employs them mostly for their talents in telecommunication and technology world as opposed to having work experience. The company hires across all groups of ages provided that the employee has the kind of talent the company is looking for.
Head hunting on campuses and in institutions of learning
Google uses a strategy of going around universities and institutions of higher learning and tries to spot the best and most talented students in such schools. Then it nurtures them and assimilates them slowly into the company and offers them an avenue to develop their talents and become part of the Google team.
Freedom to undertake own projects
Google Company has given all its employees and engineers the freedom to undertake any project they feel is interesting to them. Employees are encouraged to take a break from the normal routine and for few hours every day concentrate on projects that they feel are important to them individually. This way, the company creates room and space for creativity and growth by allowing the minds of engineers to wander outside the realm of the normal project work. The best projects are incorporated into other projects of the company and a number of engineers is assigned to work on them.
High level of specialization of employees
Google employs highly specialized employees and restricts their operations to the field of specialization until these employees become fully integrated into whatever fields they have expertise in. This ensures that each employee gives his or her best to a particular project and undertaking to provide quality work.
Team work is highly emphasized in this company. Projects and products that the company brings to the market are usually products of team work. Highly specialized engineers and other employees work together, each bringing his or her expertise to make sure that a particular project is done in highest quality possible. Usually, products and services that are offered by Google have passed through a number of departments and have been worked on by a number of different engineers with different levels of qualification.
Serving by example
Founders and top management of Google Company are accredited for being able to serve by example. Recently, three top managers of the company decided to cut down their salaries to $ 1. This is a motivating factor to employees, who realize that the work they do at the company is mostly motivated by passion and not by pursuit of material things. Material things become secondary to the work done at the company.
High perks, salaries, and bonuses for employees
Employees at Google Company can boast to be among highly compensated employees in the telecommunication industry. They are paid good salaries and benefits as well as flexible working and leave days making the company one of the most attractive companies to work in for graduating students of the telecommunication discipline.
3.0 Yamaha Corporation - company profile
Yamaha Corporation is an international company with its roots in Japan. The company was established by Torakusu Yamaha, who was a watch maker and eventually the president of Nippon Corporation, which was the initial name for the Yamaha Company (Yamaha website, 2012). Today, the company operates on major fronts all over the world with its many mergers and conglomerates scattered globally. Headquarters of Yamaha Corporation are in Shizouka, Japan. Currently, employee base of the company is more than 19,000 employees.
3.0.1 Products and services
Yamaha is primarily a production company. The company is involved in research, development, and manufacture of many products in the electronic industry. The major and renowned products of the company that gave this company its position are musical instruments. Currently, Yamaha Corporation is one of the world’s biggest manufacturers of musical instruments. The company is positioned as a manufacturer of a great deal of diverse musical instruments such as pianos, drums, guitars, brass instruments, wind instruments, violins, celli, vibraphones, CD players, audio players, semi-conductors, audio/visual products, computer related products, home appliances, robotics instruments as well as a variety of sporting goods.
3.0.2 The management style and culture of Yamaha Corporation
To investigate management style of this company, this paper shall break this into two compounds: corporate structure to understand who are current top managers of the company and how the company is structured management-wise and actual management styles used in this giant corporation.
3.0.2 (a) The corporate structure of the Yamaha Company
At the very top of this company is current president Mitsuru Umemura (Yamaha Company website, 2012). The board of governors design policies and make important decisions in this company. Other executive officers are under their rule in a hierarchical order. However, employees are also categorized into regional managers depending on where these subsidiary companies of Yamaha are situated.
3.0.2 (b) The management styles of the Yamaha Company
Unlike Google Corporation discussed above, management style of Yamaha Corporation can be described as being formal and serious. Employees are expected to be well dressed in a formal way so as to depict the company as being serious in its undertakings. This can be attributed to factors, which are discussed in ensuing paragraphs.
Emphasis on experience and skills
Most of the employees in Yamaha Corporation are deemed to have a number of years of experience in their respective fields of expertise. Rarely does the company employ people who it thinks are not fully qualified or are not experienced enough.
Mixed age set at the company
The company has employed its diverse employees in a mixed age proportion. The elderly and the young are employed with neither group having dominance over the other. The elderly are mainly employed in administrative positions and posts, while young and energetic run factories where instruments are made.
Team work is also a factor that is emphasized in this company. The management believes that in order to produce a product of top quality various departments and skilled personnel should pool their input.
Unlike Google Corporation, which does all its projects under its own roof, the management of Yamaha Corporation engages in outsourcing, where it offers other small companies minor jobs when the demand is too high.
Research and development
Like Google Corporation, Yamaha Inc. also embarks on conducting research and development to make sure that its products remain relevant and competitive against other players in the industry.
The just-in-time policy
Yamaha Corporation, like many other companies in Japan, employs the just-in-time policy that focuses on hard work and delivery on time. This has made the company become one of the most endeared in the world in service and delivery of musical instruments and other specialized products.
From the above discussion, it has been observed that different companies could use different management styles and still arrive at the same desired goal of success. The liberal and relaxed nature of management used in Google Corporation might be not at all applicable or workable when it is used in a company like Yamaha. In the same way, management strategies and styles used at Yamaha Corporation might not work efficiently in Google Corporation. Thus, it is evident that management styles and structures are highly specialized to a particular corporation. The most important thing, however, is to make sure that whatever style is applied, the goals and objectives of the company are met comprehensively.