Good leadership is essential to governments, groups and numerous business entities as
such is an important factor for making an organizations successful. Leaders transform potential
into reality. Leaders are termed as the key human resource in any given organization and better
leaders develop a better workforce and the two together develop better products. The importance
of leadership cannot be overemphasized. To get things done by people in the organization,
leadership is important. To influence internal environment of the organization such as systems,
procedures, people and strategies, leadership is important. More importantly, to influence
change, leadership is crucial. Google Inc is one such company. Google’s CEO, Larry Page is an
exceptional leader. He has influenced change in the organization for long. Page is termed as
being intelligent, creative, ambitious, driven and collaborative (Dvir, Eden, Avolio and Shamir,
2002, p. 735).
Leadership style at Google Inc
Herold, Fedor, Caldwell and Liu (2008, p. 346), democratic leadership is practiced at
Google. Throughout his years as a leader at Google, Larry Page has worked to ensure he avoids
leading in an autocratic manner. Larry urges his employees to believe in crazy ideas and
accepting all ideas as such may end up changing the world. Larry encourages bottoms-up
structures to exist at Google. He is open to accommodating ideas from everybody irrespective of
his or her level in the organization. He encourages his employees to come up with creative ideas.
Even though Larry is an introvert, he is more likely to listen to ideas from other people. Simply
put, Larry employs transformational leadership as he is inspirational in nature with a charismatic
personality. With the ability to provide a sense of belonging to his employees through
interactions aimed at creating solid relationships (Brandt, 2011, p. 1).
Google leaders share all the information they have with their employees in addition to
where the company is headed to not forgetting any challenges that they may face. This
transparency is consistent with the view of Judge and Piccolo (2004, p. 755) that
transformational leadership is evident at Google as such leaders establish the vision while
communicating it in a manner that helps people link their day-to-day work with Google’s
Transformational leadership in the context of change: A case study of Google Inc
It is argued that today’s business world is highly competitive and for that reason, change
must be a naturally occurring activity in an organization that wants to remain relevant. One of
the ways of surviving is to reshape the needs of a rapidly changing business environment.
Resistance to change is a dead-end street for many organizations (Alvarez, Svejenova and Vives,
2007, p. 10). Organizations must reshape or change in order to become more agile and flat for
purposes of meeting the ever changing customer needs. As a leader, one must emphasize able to
make changes as quick and smooth as possible (Puccio, Mance and Murdock, 2010, p. 1).
Transformational leadership employed by Google’s CEO, Larry Page has seen the firm embrace
the much needed change that has worked in positioning Google as one of the top performing
companies across the globe.
According to Nadler (2007, p. 666), transformational leadership influences change.
Transformational leaders are some of the most successful when it comes to carrying out change
despite change and adversity. Such leaders are able to engage employees not forgetting their
abilities to positively influence and affect change within an organization. At Google,
transformational leaders in place led by Larry Page have been influential in affecting change by
encouraging the workforce to adapt to the changing needs of the business environment in coming
up with innovative product able to ensure that the company continues to maintain its market
niche in the face of increasing competition (Maccoby, 2009, p. 58).
Herold (2008, p. 346) asserts that resistance to change is a common occurrence.
However, transformational leadership that exists at Google has been influential in ensuring that
there is a shift of focus from resistance, uncertainty and fear of change into innovation and
forward thinking. Such is made possible since such leadership ensures employee engagement,
longevity and commitment exists. Moreover, according to Dvir, Eden, Avolio and Shamir (2002,
p. 740), the type of leadership at Google (transformational leadership) has been beneficial in
terms of bringing about change management. Larry Page is a transformational leader who
understands how to effectively communicate all levels and departments with by providing facts
and logic, establishing some form of connection, being open, honest, trust, support when it
comes to instituting change.
Google’s Transformational leadership and its inter-relationship with structure and culture
as related to organizational change
As noted above, transformational leadership is engaging, open and democratic in nature.
Google Inc has employed such type of leadership for long. Transformational leadership used by
Google is related to its structure and culture which is related to organizational change of the firm.
Google’s organizational structure is cross-functional in nature. Google’s company organizational
structure has three main characteristics divided into function-based definition, product-based
definition and a degree of flatness whereby Google’s employees are encouraged to bypass the
middle management and report directly to the CEO (Maccoby, 2009, p. 60).
Google’s organizational culture is interesting. The culture of the firm is not typical, partly
due to the effects it has on the firm’s organizational structure. However, its culture has been
termed as being innovative, open, hands-on, supportive of small-company-family rapport, and
smart with an emphasis on excellence (Brandt, 2011, p. 4). Google’s organizational structure and
culture is to some extent related to transformational leadership which promotes honesty,
employee engagement, innovation and trust. All these work towards promoting the much needed
organizational change that majority of firms across the globe are lately pursuing.
In a recap, an organization without clear leadership is bound to fail. Good leadership is
the fuel that drives companies towards growth and development. Leadership alone cannot make
such to be achievable with ease. The type of leadership matters a lot. At Google,
transformational leadership has been the key towards influencing the internal environment the
organization. Through this type of leadership, Google has been able to achieve a lot. Of
importance though, it is evident that Google’s company structure and culture is to a larger extent
related to transformational leadership which has been the reason as to why resistance to change
at Google has been minimal.
Alvarez, J.L., Svejenova, S. and Vives, L., 2007. Leading in pairs. MIT Sloan Management
Review, 48(4), p.10.
Brandt, R.L., 2011. The Google Guys: Inside the Brilliant Minds of Google Founders Larry
Page and Sergey Brin. Penguin.
Dvir, T., Eden, D., Avolio, B.J. and Shamir, B., 2002. Impact of transformational leadership on
follower development and performance: A field experiment. Academy of management
journal, 45(4), pp.735-744.
Herold, D.M., Fedor, D.B., Caldwell, S. and Liu, Y., 2008. The effects of transformational and
change leadership on employees' commitment to a change: a multilevel study. Journal of
Applied Psychology, 93(2), p.346.
Judge, T.A. and Piccolo, R.F., 2004. Transformational and transactional leadership: a meta-
analytic test of their relative validity. Journal of applied psychology, 89(5), p.755.
Maccoby, M., 2009. Needed: Managers who are leaders. Research-Technology Management,
Nadler, D.A., 2007. The CEO's second act. Harvard business review, 85(1), p.66.
Puccio, G.J., Mance, M. and Murdock, M.C., 2010. Creative leadership: Skills that drive
change. Sage Publications.