Business Case Studies, HRM / Organizational behaviour Case Study, Employees as Brands,The Case of Google

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HRM / Organizational behaviour Case Study

Case Title:

Employees as Brands: The Case of Google

Publication Year : Jan 2009

Authors: Deepti Srikanth, Priti Krishnan

Industry: Internet and e-commerce


Case Code: HRM0048

Teaching Note: Available

Structured Assignment: Available

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This case is written primarily to raise an interesting arguement over a simple, yet, thought-provoking concept – how can human resources be leveraged as a source of competitive advantage? Illustrated through the example of Google, this case raises many intriguing issues. In a span of a decade, Google has emerged as a technological powerhouse with two extraordinary innovations, ‘search’ and ‘adwords’, to its credit. The company attributes this enviable rise to glory to its most valued assets – the Google employees. Since its inception, the company has constantly hired only the best talent in the industry, preferring creativity to work experience. Striving to attract and retain bright and inspiring employees, Google focused on motivating its employees by creating a challenging yet fun-filled work environment coupled with a wide array of perks ranging from free food and a gym to employee stock options. Additionally to foster innovativeness, Google has adopted the ‘70/20/10’ model, to encourage Googlers to spend 20% of their work time on a project of their choice. These efforts paid off and Google emerged as the most sought after place to work for two consecutive years (2007 and 2008). However, can a company that has focused on small teams and individual interaction with all employees cope up with the same when its meteoric climb to success has captured the interest of many competitors? The appreciation of Google’s achievements has been accompanied by increasing apprehensions about the long-term sustainability of Google’s informal and fun-filled culture. Whether Google’s success is a result of its much hyped work culture or vice versa, continues to be an unresolved enigma.

Pedagogical Objectives:

  • To analyse the role and essence of HR management across different industries and their contribution in building successful organisations
  • To analyse factors contributing to Google’s meteoric rise in a short span of time
  • To examine Google’s HR practices and debate on the replicability and sustainability of these practices
  • To understand how Google has been successful in making its employees brand ambassadors.

Keywords : Google, Brands, Employees, HRM, Culture, Motivation, Compensation, Employee Retention, Talent Management, Best practices, work culture, Organisational culture, Innovation


  • Google Inc.: A Decade’s Success Story
  • Google's Search Query Process
  • History of Google
  • How do Googlers View Google?

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