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International Human Resource Management: best practice versus worst practice in organizational culture

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  1. Best practice : Google US
  2. Worst practice : Enron

Edgar Schein has developed a model of organizational culture, which include three levels: the observable artifacts, the values and the basic assumptions. For Google the observable artifacts correspond to the physical manifestation on the campus such as: free healthy food, free shuttle, the magnificent offices, bikes, stand-up meeting, Internet access everywhere, the architecture, Google logo everywhere, the relaxed employees and so on. Google managed to create a strong cultural identity with his 10 commandments, which reflects certain value as demanding work but in a fun atmosphere without suit for example, focus on the consumer and so on. All of this help to promote a strong organizational culture, Google want to create an environment, which is much more than a simple workplace (fun and untraditional company), the employees is not simple employees but Googlers and it is a real success!

Hofstede's cultural dimensions theory is a precious tool for understands the organizational culture of Google. Google practices a low power distance; decisions at Google are made in teams, the employees are equal and the opinion of all is important. The leadership style is participative without excessive oversight, all of this element permit to develop the independent thinking and the creativity, but also thanks to free periods to work on new project (20%) or personal projects (10%).

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