11 Oct 2022


Project Oxygen: Google's Quest to Build the 'Perfect' Team

Format: APA

Academic level: Master’s

Paper type: Research Paper

Words: 612

Pages: 2

Downloads: 0

Google’s Project Oxygen was an attempt to establish what makes one be deemed a great manager at Google. The project that dates back to 2008 identified eight behaviors that are common in Google’s great managers has been used as a management development programs. The project findings have laid the foundation of Google’s organizational culture, which is informed by the client’s dynamic needs. Google engages in continuous research on management behaviors as a way of developing its managers to run the company day-to-day operations. Currently, Google operates within ten Oxygen behaviors for best managers to help it incorporate organizational culture and leadership. Project Oxygen is indicative of Google’s desire to fix its management in the 2000s when it had too many employees and few leaders. The project was about identifying common behaviors inherent in great managers who could help transform Google’s business (Momin & Mishra, 2017). PiLab, a small team within Google’s ‘people analytics’ group interviewed managers from different segments and locations and came up with eight behaviors related to high-scoring managers.

A manager’s behavior is defined by his or her role and PiLab captures this aspect by Oxygen traits which establish that managers are coaches who empower employees without micromanaging them. At this point, it is important to differentiate between leaders and managers to assess whether these managers exude Project Oxygen’s characteristics. Iszatt-White and Saunders (2017) assert that leaders create organizational goals, vision while managers set, and measure the achievement of organizational goals. This objective is captured by Oxygen’s behavior 4 that establishes that great managers are productive and results-oriented. Google is aware that culture determines and influences stakeholders’ behaviors regarding and for this reason, Google culture establishes the need for employees’ autonomy in a flattened organizational structure.

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Google’s Organizational Structure 

Google has a vibrant organizational culture that focuses on cross-organization collaboration to enhance stronger decision-making practices. Unlike many companies that emphasize hierarchies and bureaucracies, Google's organizational structure has fewer layers. In such a structure, every employee possesses a bit of autonomy, which is integral in achieving a cultural fit. Google’s almost flat organizational culture creates a sense of connection between employees, clients, and management, which in turn promotes cooperation and trust (Tran, 2017). This kind of connection that defines the company’s organizational structure allows for greater employee engagement and productivity. More so, the culture allows employees to approach senior management without having to go through hierarchies that may delay crucial processes.

Google has adopted a culture where all employees are treated the same as opposed to being viewed as subordinates who serve at the pleasure of the executives. In line with this culture, Google requires that its leadership does not micromanage employees but rather allow them autonomy in their operations. Tran (2017) asserts that leaders are supposed to create a connection-type culture that allows for empathy and in this way come up with a more positive work environment. This kind of culture places emphasis on valuing cooperation instead of focusing too much on status differences between employees. Leaders ought to demonstrate the eight behaviors outlined in Project Oxygen to enhance Google’s organizational culture.

Project Oxygen has helped to streamline Google’s culture of connectedness by outlining managers’ behaviors that promote cooperation among all employees no matter their ranks. Managers are aligned to project Oxygen provision that establishes how they ought to relate with employees. Employees and managers appear to be on the same level in flattened organizational culture, which improves their working relationship. The connection culture allows for increased autonomy on the part of employees and openness on the part of the managers. The employees can collaborate with the managers without feeling inferior, which increases employee engagement and productivity. Connection culture, which is aligned to Project Oxygen, helps managers to not only view employees as professionals but also as community members with other social and emotional needs (Momin & Mishra, 2017). The culture is ingrained into the company’s operations and everyone is aware of the existing expectations regulating interactions and behaviors. In this case, it is evident that a company’s culture influences and dictates behaviors at all organizational levels.


Iszatt-White, M., & Saunders, C. (2017). Leadership (2nd ed.). Oxford University Press.

Momin, W. Y. M., & Mishra, K. (2017). Managing people strategically with people analytics: A case study of Google Inc. International Journal of Applied Research , 3(6), 360-367.

Tran, S. K. (2017). Google: A reflection of culture, leader, and management. International Journal of Corporate Social Responsibility , 2, 10. https://doi.org/10.1186/s40991-017-0021-

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StudyBounty. (2023, September 15). Project Oxygen: Google's Quest to Build the 'Perfect' Team.


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