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Google's Project Oxygen do managers matter? Case Solution

Situational Analysis

In 2012, Parsed Setty got appointed at the post of vice president of people analytics and compensation. He quickly identified that there is a need to develop better managementalthough the organizationwasalready performing at best, but there was still a space forimprovement. To pursue thatvision, he,with his team incorporated “project oxygen” to determine the importance of managers in upgrading the performance of employees which in turns add value to retention, recognition and motivation of the employees.The project initially started with the hypotheses“Managers don’t matter in improving the performance and commitment of the employees” in which they failed, luckily. The second part of the project investigateddeeply about the traits which are in common in the top performing managers of Google and thus formed “oxygen 8” traits which can be used as a benchmark to become a good manager.It reallyworked for many relatively low performing managers to reach the top position. However, the key issue described is whether by offering theoxygen 8 formula, the company is boxing the traits of the managers and setting guidelines to strictly follow or whether following the Oxygen 8 would make the best managers which the world could reckon to. Above all, will the offerings and findings of the project oxygen remain sustainable with passing time or the whole paradigm of research will shift to the new approach of being inspirational managers.The challenge here is to make the best managers  with aspiringqualities that matches the qualities of the vicepresident and CEO while keeping the learning path natural and not confined to oxygen 8 trait.The sustainability of the project in long run is also something to be considered.



Since the project oxygen offers a limited approach to be good managers, for many people it is like ‘boxing in’the people to followcertain traits in order tobecome the bestmanagers. In such situationsthemain objectives of the organization is to sustain the project in future and to make the best managers in the company that the corporate world aspires to have. There are few objectives that needs to be addressed:

  • The organization has to develop a process which integrates the traits of the top positions of the company like VP, CEO to continue the learning curve of the manager and keep the managers professionally challenged.
  • A continuous feedback system for the three divisions separately to incorporate the findings in the project in order to sustain the project and make the findings reliable and useful to the managers to deal with the shifting behaviors of the teams.
  • In order to refrain manes being taking from the Oxygen 8 guidelines as the best traits to become the top performing manager, the company has to devise a plan which constructs such a culture in which the managers don’tconfine themselves to the sole traits but develop the personalityandleadershipstyle which is a mix and match of Oxygen 8 traits and the traits that they manage alreadyholds. In other words, the leadership style has to be constructed in a way that it remains open and free yet incorporates the qualities of Oxygen 8.





In order to deal with the underlyingissue the first thing Google should do is, it must incorporate mentoring sessions in which the top managers get in direct contact with the CEO and VP of the company and the VP or CEO act as mentors to develop the inspirational and aspiring trait among the managers. This will make a bridge for mangers to learn the traits by experiencing and getting in direct contact.

  • In order to develop an effective feedback system, the company mustincorporate 360 degree feedback and evaluation process, by which not only the employees rate the managers but managers from other departments offer their feedback foremployees as well. This will open various dimensions of improving the role of the manager. Moreover, the approach will help in sustaining the essence of the project oxygen which offers updated findings to improve the leadership style of the managers.
  • The company has to develop a culture of innovation more firmly into the organization while also sticking to the valuesoffered by Oxygen 8to accomplish the task.Google should adopt oxygen 8 traits as the mission statement of the company which will engrave the graveness of the quality of good managerswhile also offering an open platform for the mangers to develop and devise better traits of leadership which could add in Oxygen 8 while also promotingdemocraticlean structure of the organization....................................

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