Social Network Service and Facebook - Part 2
Katz has identified 3 general skills with relation to management namely conceptual skills, human skills and technical skills (Daft, 2010). Mark Zuckerberg as a Chief Executive Officer(CEO) has conceptual skills because he can plan for the present and the future. Zuckerberg’s decision to partner with Microsoft in an advertising deal in 2006 within the United States and subsequently internationally in 2011 has allowed Facebook to continue to grow as a technological company (Stone, 2007).
Zuckerberg has also incorporated the Bing search engine within Facebook as a step to ensure Facebook’s sustainability as users can perceive Facebook as more than just a regular social networking site (Bolm, n. d. ). According to Bolm (n. d. ), Bing says that a huge portion of society refer to their friends before making the decision to purchase things and this phenomenon is known as the “Friend Effect”. He acknowledges that to achieve success, one must be able to work with people as well as through them. Zuckerberg management style of having a flexible workplace demonstrates his human skills as a manager (Yulianto, 2011).
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His ability to lead, motivate, increase and realize the potential of his employees is seen as crucial skills for a manager. The Hackathon that Zuckerberg organizes within his company allows critical as well as creative thinking. It promotes co-operation and helps build team spirit and better social connections within employees not only with themselves but as well as with the rest of the staff (Carlson, 2008). Zuckerberg is not short on technical skills either. His ability to create applications till today allows him to take a proactive role within the development of the company (Arrington, 2010).
He plays a diverse number of roles within the company. He monitors the current situation from time to time. His decision to stop the advertising deal with Microsoft in 2011 shows how up-to-date he is with the latest information to enable him to make the correct decisions (Chan, 2010). Zuckerberg is responsible for most announcements with regards to new softwares or applications that are presented to the public. This role he takes highlights his responsibility as the spokesperson of the company (Robert. 2010).
Besides introducing new applications, he is also responsible for making public appearances such as interviews, talk shows or even moments when apologies are needed. It shows that he is the image or face of Facebook. He also leads the company in a dynamic way. He is confident in his abilities and he is acceptably stubborn to allow progress to take place. He is not afraid to do things others might perceive to be wrong and he sticks with his decisions. However, he is willing to take responsibility for his actions and is willing to apologize when he realises his mistakes (Schonfeld, 2007).
The man is also an entrepreneur as he is always thinking up of new ways to improve Facebook. He constantly updates the layout of Facebook to better suit the needs of users. He made drastic changes to the current layout as compared to the old layout to make Facebook even more interesting and user-friendly (Costine, 2011). He is not afraid to make changes and take risks even though every plan has a chance of failing. QUESTION 2 Facebook users demand the best and expect the best. From a technological aspect, Facebook has to launch new layouts to keep the attention of their users.
Innovative applications such as Phrases and Mafia Wars allow Facebook to remain popular. There are over 250 million users who access Facebook through their mobile devices (“Facebook Statistics,” n. d. ). Therefore, Facebook has to ensure accessibility for these operating platforms of today’s modern era as computer are no longer the only source of access. Connecting the world requires attention to sociocultural differences. Language is of primary importance and Facebook is available in over 43 languages and is processing an additional 60. 40% of users do not use English.
When Facebook was available in Turkish, it gained 9 million additional users (“Global Design,” 2009). Facebook faces legal and political implications. Many countries such as Bangladesh, Syria, North Korea, and notably China have banned Facebook because of political concerns (Paul Sawers, 2010). This is due to Facebook not having enough censorship. It allows freedom of speech with no questionable responsibility (“Want China Times,” 2011). Facebook aspires to be international, but it is impossible to connect the world when countries such as China who have one-sixth of global population are left out (“Want China Times,” 2011).
The users of Facebook have a powerful influence to the company. Facebook has to meet the different needs of a variety of consumers and keep up with social trends. Facebook is now integrated in over 2. 5 million websites and is becoming a more powerful social networking site (“Facebook Statistics,” n. d. ). Facebook has recently acquired 500 million users (Egros, A. , 2010). Facebook faces competition from other social networking sites like MySpace and Twitter for users. To have an edge, Facebook has to establish itself internationally by expanding to fit the needs of global users in accessibility and language.
Accessibility is hindered by legal and political blocks. Languages are in the process of translation and at present time, it has surpassed other social networking sites in user base. On average, users spend over 700 billion minutes per month on Facebook (“Facebook Statistics,” n. d. ). Facebook also has to constantly be on the hunt for top talent when recruiting staff. They look for workers who can achieve more when given less. Amin Zoufonoun, a former director of corporate development at Google is just one of the few names that Facebook has successfully prized away (“Dealbook,” 2011).
If Facebook is to connect the whole planet, it must resolve legal and political issues that it faces today. Facebook has to reach into China for it to be global. Overtaking the current social networking sites in China such as Kaixin, Renren, and Xionei or Japan’s Mixi, who censor content displayed is no easy task (“The Bivings Report,” 2009; “Want China Times,” 2011). The popularity of Baidu, China’s own search engine in their native language shows the preference the Chinese have for local sites (Kennedy, n. d. ). Facebook would have allay governmental fears as well as break social stigma’s for them to be truly global.
It is not only with China but also other countries mentioned above. If Facebook can somehow assure users as well as governments that safety for both are ensured, then perhaps they can move into those markets. Freedom of speech needs to have limits and people should be liable to what they say. Security and privacy for users as well as receivers are two ares Facebook has to step up to connect the world. Question 3 Facebook was originally intended for usage at Harvard University. Facebook then expanded to other colleges then to high schools and eventually it went global.
Organizations such as Facebook have an environment that is strongly influenced by positive corporate culture. One such example is the Hack culture that encourages employees to think of unorthodox methods to solve challenging problems. Zuckerberg organizes “hackathon’s” to encourage the values such as creativity and innovation (Cutler, 2009). It is particularly important as Facebook has considerably less employees to meet unlimited user demands. Facebook also adopts a strong Geek culture. It is not just growth in Facebook, it is also about ensuring Facebook remains an ideal work place.
The working environment is kept as informal as possible with workers not being confined to desk spaces. A unique system whereby a gong is hit every time someone manages to finish off a challenging task further demonstrates the Geek culture (Takahashi, 2011). Additionally, the open culture in Facebook allows them to improve on a daily basis. Employees are encouraged to be open to change, to question and be questioned, to take initiative as well as to care about what they are doing collectively. The concept of open culture mixed with open systems allow Facebook to continuously adapt and take advantage of the external environment.
Corporate culture in Facebook is strongly supported by the management by leadership example seen within Mark Zuckerberg. Zuckerberg is considered by many as a hero for Facebook. He is often the symbol of the company. He is a person of integrity and he believes in what he has set out to do. For employees of Facebook, this is a pivotal standing point (Marshall, 2009). He is not a sell out as he proved when he rejected numerous financially beneficial deals most notably Yahoo’s $ 1 billion dollar attempt to acquire Facebook in 2006. Facebook is a place where they build something for the long term.
That slogan has encapsulated his principles. Instead of confronting Ben Parr who started an anti Facebook group, he chose to ask for advice on what could be done instead. He is not afraid of making mistakes and is humble enough to apologize and rectify them as seen with the recent case of the Beacon project (Frontiera, 2010). His actions of correcting mistakes when needed as well as valuing customer opinions ensures Facebook’s success today as well as tomorrow (“WebHostingReport”, n. d. ). Zuckerberg together with his team, they really just believe in what they are doing (Frontiera, 2010).
It is these values directly and indirectly that Zuckerberg has portrayed consistently that has elevated him to a heroic status within the company. As a cultural leader, Mark has surpassed expectations. A cultural leader is one who articulates visions for organizations and heeds day to day activities that reinforce cultural vision. He is often compared with Google’s co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin. He is viewed as disciplined and focused. Zuckerberg constantly sets stretch goals for his workers and he is there to motivate as well assist his employees if needed to reach the outrageous goals he has set.
People are willing to sacrifice effort and time relentlessly because he himself is sacrificing effort and time and shows us how to do the right thing. He has successfully introduced and integrated these values. The scary part; he is getting better and better at it every day (Marshall, 2009). Question 4 Facebook’s management style is dynamic; borrowing from previous management concepts as well as incorporating their own ideas. The management team encourages employees to take initiative in their work. They stir employees to have self direction and to take charge.
The management team also promotes harmony and general well being among employees. All Facebook workers are also treated equally. These ideas were borrowed heavily from Henri Fayol’s 14 principles namely initiative, espirit de corps as well as equality (Onkar, 2008). The management team also understood the importance of the informal organisation as introduced by Chester Barnard. Though Facebook is a relaxing place to work, it still has discipline to keep order. Facebook treats their employees with respect. They do not set working hours and people are free to come and leave whenever they want.
As long as they are productive and communicate their ideas efficiently, there would be no constraints. Facebook has satisfied and brought out the best of their employees also because they have fulfilled the hierarchy of needs that Abraham Maslow suggested. Besides providing a variety of cafeterias that provide breakfast, lunch and dinner, Facebook also provides facilities such as dry cleaning, transportation, gymnasiums, and flexible working spaces (Gallagher, 2010). These all attribute to workers willingness to put in long hours that is demanded in the industry.
Facebook uses management science techniques when they hire prospective new workers. They test the ability of the prospective employee in solving problems. The human resource department makes a background check during the first phone interview and gets you to solve puzzles. After the problem solving test, a phone interview with technical question are then posed to the candidate (Engineering at Facebook, 2011). This vigorous test and interview methods ensure that Facebook gets top notch quality workers. Facebook has also adopted an open systems approach to management and employees.
They see the organisation as a whole set of inter-related parts that co-exist and are co-dependent on each other. Though engineers are responsible for the entire process of creating the new applications, they realise that they can use help from designers and it is through their own initiative of stirring excitement in the designer that leads to the designer participating in the project. The end result is often much better when teams collaborate through co-operation and self direction of effort. Facebook adheres to many management principles of the past but the organisation is also breaking rules that were so strong yesterday.
The Hackathon culture that Facebook prides itself with encapsulates their identity for today. Hackathon encourages workers to think outside the box and to acknowledge there is no one best way to do things as oppose to scientific management thinking (Parker, 2011). At Facebook, employees are not treated like tools as Zuckerberg gives his employees the freedom to what is best for the company. There is no subordination of individual interest to the general interest. Workers are allowed to choose which projects they want to work with (Yee Lee, 2011). The office is no longer compartmentalized.
The working environment is like no other. Zuckerberg hired David Choe to add graffiti murals to the office and workers are walking in with jeans as compared to their Pricewaterhouse Coopers counterparts who are still in suites (Hypebeast, 2011). Zuckerberg has brought about massive changes to management concepts but has not overlooked the important values from the past. Question 5 The founder of Facebook is an introvert; irony (Hamilton, 2010). He is a person of probity. He started Facebook to connect people and that has remained his source of motivation; not money. Facebook was his answer to the problems the world faced.
Society was looking for ways to connect to each other; Zuckerberg provided it. According to Fullan (2001), he is known to be a visionary leader. Facebook has always made decisions collectively that were unique, striking and often not thought of. He is often regarded as a person who does not fear change but rather he embraces it as opportunities that come his way. The demands of users on Facebook are ever changing and Zuckerberg himself is driving the direction of Facebook’s product strategy as well as design to suit the needs of users. He does not sit on past laurels.
Zuckerberg is famed for removing successful products to make way for better ones (Fullan, 2001). He is confident, dares to take risks but is also careful in making decisions In fact, his decision to drop out of Harvard to create Facebook is seen as turning point in his life (“Mark Zuckerberg”, 2011). He took the road not many would have taken. Zuckerberg is also an interactive leader. Every morning, employees have a question and answer session between one another and this builds trust and accountability. The Hackathon that is held often also encourages participation from all parts of the organisation.
Zuckerberg exemplifies the servant leadership analogy. His decision to reject the buyout offer from Yahoo that was worth $1 billion proved this (Gelles, 2010). Not only did he stand to his principles but he placed the interest of others above his own. Managers at Facebook do not have offices and employees do not have confined spaces. Despite being the leader of Facebook, he is not authorized to initiate Hackathon. Instead, it is his workers that are empowered. This has contributed to the great sense of openness and harmony within the organisation. Zuckerberg is approachable and this makes the organisation united (Scoble, 2011).
Zuckerberg’s most stand out value is his humility. With all the success that he has achieved, he has remained deeply rooted. He has not changed the way he views life and despite being a billionaire, he still stays in a one bedroom apartment and wears clothes that the majority of us wear (“Anything Hollywood”, 2010). Only recently has he admitted to buying a “proper” pair of shoes. His fame has not changed his personal life either. He has kept his relationship with his high school girlfriend and has not succumbed to the media’s constant invasion into his private life. His humility keeps his ego in check.
Keeping his ego in check is what makes Facebook successful today. He is not shy of asking for help though his decisions have got him to where he is today. His decision to hire Sheryl Sandberg who re-organised the company proves that he is a person who is not afraid of making tough decisions but he is also capable of seeking help when help is needed (Swisher, 2008). A good manager is one who is willing to listen to others as only a fool is ever sure of himself. Above all else, he leads by example. He does things the right way and he does the right things. A place for everything and everything in it’s place.