Microsoft is the worldwide leader in software, services and Internet technologies for personal and business computing. The company offers a wide range of products and services designed through software applications. William H. Gates III and Paul G. Allen founded Microsoft on April 4, 1975. It was then incorporated on June 25, 1981 in Redmond, Washington. The company operates with subsidiary offices in more than 60 foreign countries and employs nearly 50,000 people worldwide.
Microsoft’s mission statement is to enable people and businesses throughout the world to realize their full potential1. Steve Ballmer, the new CEO, has structured the company to increase focus on customers and software services, in order to meet Microsoft’s mission. The world is changing rapidly where Information technology has become an integral part of lives and “Information Revolution” has been compared to other time periods in history during which socioeconomic systems have fundamentally changed.
It paved the way for the meeting of communications, collaboration, and learning i. e. a knowledge and information economics. Part A – 5 Management Approach Structure. It is still a conflict, whether there is any one right organization structure2. To a certain extent, I disagree with the theory that an organizational3 structure defines how jobs are formally divided, grouped and coordinated. Drucker P. F. (1999) opined that organization is just a tool for enhancing productivity of a group of people.
In other words, conversely the jobs created may be the one that ascertain what type of structure should be used. Whatever the outcome, I believe that Microsoft strategy to enabled pooling and sharing of its specialist has influenced its matrix structure4 employed. In my opinion, Microsoft practiced a very tight control but very anti-bureaucratic management. This can be deduced from dual chain of command or reporting channels. One is none routinized, formal but loosely structured whilst the other is a regular but informal reporting.
The objective is to keep tight checks on the daily activities. Within these reporting structure Microsoft is able to monitor pre and post-review on its entire product, enhancing future products along the way. Notwithstanding the control, its organic model5 type has enabled Microsoft to practice a fluid office-plan where teams move dynamically and contributes to the development of its product. I find that, the system prompt team dependency with each other thus enabling the teams to synergize effectively in communications, be it problems or feedbacks.
Whilst A Chandler (1997) described that a growing organization will ultimately employ a complex structure and moves towards a diversified and flat structure, we know that with technology, notwithstanding Microsoft, large organizations will become simpler and medium-sized. The tools and processes will eventually be automated and would demand lesser control and monitoring. New structures such as team structure, virtual structure and boundary less structure will begin to play an important part in the near future as knowledge economy becomes more pronounced. Culture
In a nutshell, culture6 means, ” the way things are done around here”. According to Jeffrey Sonnenfeld (n. d. ) of Emory University labeling schema, Microsoft belongs to the academy-cultural type where recruited graduates are given good compensation system and provided with special training. It provides a clear and specific career path to its employees in order to remain at the sharper end of the business. In my opinion, Microsoft has created a “nerd” culture where technical competences are highly valued rather than compliance due to the nature of its business.
This has clearly reduced bickering and avoids office politics, which augurs well for Microsoft. The culture of visionary risk-takers is appreciated in order to appreciate dealing with failure and setbacks. A risk-taking culture does not discredit people who makes mistake but learned from them7. Any failures or setback get to be discussed and rectified in the self-managed team concepts thus assisting the teams to develop. Microsoft also practices a customer-driven culture. This indicates the culture of market and service standard, maintaining marketability and just not technical focus.
This nurtures creativity and innovation. But, there is also pressure, motivation and rewards to ensure performance and innovation. From the above, Microsoft has successfully created a culture of change-adept environment where achievement and success are celebrated. Microsoft believes that change can be done and it has to be done quickly. It assists the changes by influencing the employees’ perception and the way it is implemented. But, the question remains that it may eventually create a workaholic culture that promotes burnout if one is unable to sustain such pace.