Executive SummaryThe following paper is an analysis of Google’s strategic plan from the perspective of Human Resources. The field of strategic management became mainstream in the last two decades of the last century, with many concepts on the subject being outlined (Hofer & Schendel, 1978); (Snow, 1978); and (Porter, 1980). The focus on strategic management has seen many organisations integrating each department into its strategic management procedure. The Human Resource Management sector has also sought to integrate into the strategic management field resulting in the Strategic Human Resource Management (SHRM) concept.
These two inter related fields have led to various researches to determine how best they can be utilised together according to Miles & Snow; (1984); Schuler & Jackson (1987); Wils & Dyer (1984). The consequence of a strategic plan that is well thought out, developed and implemented is a competitive advantage in the market. The understanding and exploitation of this competitive advantage is critical to the success of the business. Analysis of Strategic PlanThe mission statement for Google is stated simply thus: “Organise the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful” (Google, 2005b).
Although they do not outline a vision on the Google website, they do outline a set of philosophies to go with the mission statement as being the following: The spotlight should be on the user, and everything else will fall into place. It pays to focus on your core competency and over-excel at it. It is better to have speed than be slow. On the World Wide Web, it is best to be democratic. It is not necessary to be at your desk to require a response. It is possibly to make a living honestly and honourably. There is no end to availability of informationIt’s possible to be serious without wearing a suit. Great is not sufficiently first-rate. Pop-ups not allowed (Google, 2005c). Google’s employment policy is geared toward obtaining and retaining highly qualified staff.
It also seeks to motivate the best performers through incentives. It operates with the 70-20-10 rule; core business takes 70% of employee time, 20% for related sectors like Gmail and Google desktop search; finally, 10% dedicated to creativity and innovation. Internal Environmental factors and how they impact on the planSTRENGTHSWEAKNESSESStrong trademarkChallenges of growth e. g.
finding the right employees, etc. Popular appealHighly reliant on advertising incomePioneering search expertiseSocial Networks from Google lack appealGood return on investment for advertisers. Position in China is not strong. Only one major revenue stream (search)Experiential deficiency. OPPORTUNITIESTHREATSSome countries remain unmapped which means expansion of services. Yahoo and Microsoft offer competition due to possession of more resources and customer appeal. A new format for advertisement and tracking apparatus. Legal issuesMarket shares size means leveraging of advertising agreements is possible. Reduced margins due to increased competition. Diminishing advertising budgets from firms. Increased competition from other global players. New regulations on the local and international arena. Source: Google (2005a p. 22)External Environmental factors and how they impact the plan. Human Resource ImplicationsAppleby & Mavin (2000) define human resources as the hard work, technical knowledge, and abilities that employees bring to an organisation which facilitates its continuing survival.
SHRM, although quite amorphous is perceived as a characteristic system of management that seeks to harness the domination of its niche by the advancement of a capable and committed staff. The movement of human resource toward this goal is what is known as Strategic Human Resource Management.
In the case of Google, we see this applied in the system of rewarding outstanding employees who are thus motivated to perform even better. Google Inc. operates as a single-product line company; that of search engine expertise. It has as its competition, much more resource-rich companies such as Microsoft and Yahoo! In order to create that niche for itself, Google has endeavored to “understand exactly what you mean and give you back exactly what you want” in the words of co-founder, Larry Page (Google, 2005d).