Questions about Google
1.How does the changing environment for business affect Google‘s ability to communicate in this situation? The changing environment for business affects Google’s ability to communicate because everything is available on the internet now. Google said themselves that they hope to “provide the greatest access of information to the greatest number of people” (Argenti, 2009, p. 22). Anything and everything that Google does or says in any situation is available for anyone to see.
The very product that they are providing can also help or hinder them. If people in the United States and Europe did not have access to Google’s business records online, then they would never know about Google censoring in China. If they did not know, then groups such as Reporters Without Borders would not be able to use them as a launching group for their issues. It is also important to mention that not only Google, but all organizations have a difficult time communicating because of the formation of the “Global Village” (Argenti, 2009, p. ).
People no longer have to wait for the morning or evening news to find out what is going on in certain situations; all they have to do is log on to their computer and search for whatever topic they desire more information on. Everyone knows that you can read hundreds of articles and posts about the same topic and each one will have a different view point and different facts; which is why it is hard for Google to communicate their side of the story.
2. Where is the company most vulnerable, from a communications standpoint? RWB said in a 2006 press release, “Google’s statements about respecting online privacy are the height of hypocrisy in view of its strategy in China” (Argenti, 2009, p. 19). Google is most vulnerable, from a communications standpoint, in trying not to be labeled a hypocrite.
For example, they cannot withhold their own business information while giving millions of people access to every other business. An example of this would be if they censored the Human Rights Watch finding’s on the censorship of Google in Canada but did not censor their information on any other company.
Since they cannot do this, they release the information and everyone is able to publically see it. Another reason why people might call Google a hypocrite is because of their “Don’t be Evil” slogan (Argenti, 2009, p. 18). It was very difficult for people to handle the fact that Google prides itself on not being evil, yet they refused to provide user reports to the United States government to aide them in their efforts of tracking down individuals that look at child pornography.
Successful companies connect communication with strategy through structure, such as having the head of corporate communication report directly to the CEO” (Argenti, 2009, p. 15). This is another area where Google is vulnerable, from a communications stand point, because the company has no real structure. When an organization doesn’t have structure it poses a problem in terms of communication because individuals outside that organization tend to think that no one within the organization is ever on the same page; in return, the organization becomes more vulnerable.
3. What are the key problems Google faces in this situation? The key problem that Google is facing in this situation is trying to define where their company fits in relation to the law and their own mission statement.
Google’s own mission statement says, “We aspire to Make Google an institution that makes the world a better place” (Argenti, 2009, p. 18). How is Google able to decide what exactly makes the world a better place? They say no censorship in the United States and they stand up for their user’s privacy, but are willing to censor search results in China.
Meanwhile, all of this is made public for any person with access to the internet to read about it. It makes Google seem like a weak company that will flip flop their own issues. “Companies must adapt to the changing environment without changing what they stand for or compromising their principles” (Argenti, 2009, p.
12). It seemed like Google had a strong handle on their principles when they refused to turn over user’s records to help the United States government, but then when push came to shove they comprised their viewpoint on not censoring so that they could enter a very profitable market.
Another problem that Google faces is being able to maintain a working relationship with the Chinese government. The Chinese government said, “We are uncompromisingly opposed to the politicization of commercial issues and express our discontent and indignation to Google for its unreasonable accusation and conducts” (Evans, 2010). It appears that Google is taking a stance due to the fact that they believe the Chinese government broke the rules of their agreement and hacked some of their accounts.
To get around this Google is now having the Google. n users search for what they want and then have the option to go to Google Hong Kong to view the information that has been censored. The problem that Google is going to face with this is if the Chinese government bans Google Hong Kong (Evans, 2010). Google is going to continue to have many problems because of how delicate this situation is.
4. What advice would you give Brin, Page, and Schmidt? The first piece of advice that I would give to Brin, Page, and Schmidt is that they need to find a balance between their goal of having a work hard, play hard organization and having some real structure within the organization.
The second piece of advice that I would give to them is that they need to hire a team of crisis management professionals. “Few managers recognize the importance of the communication function, and they are reluctant to hire the quality staff necessary to succeed in today’s environment” (Argenti, 2009, p. 14). Google appears to be excellent at hiring the most innovative individuals that are out there; but, they seem to be lacking at hiring the more specialized professionals in communications and crisis management.
Another piece of advice that I would give them is that they need to develop a sound and professional morals and values statement, not just “Don’t be Evil” (Argenti, 2009, p.
18). Every organization needs to have a good mission, morals and value statement that is public knowledge to anyone who cares to read it; if they don’t then it makes people question what the organizations real values are, just like we have seen in this case.
5. Based on your review of the article and online sources, do you think that China’s view of the Internet is changing since the Google/China issue of 2010? The Chinese government gave all Internet search providers operating in the country a difficult choice: Either censor results deemed “objectionable” by the government or do not do business in China” (Argenti, 2009, p. 18). I personally feel like this quote answers this question entirely and I do not think that China’s view of the internet has changed since 2010.
China wants to keep these social networks and sites banned because they cannot control what people would be writing on them; it is hard enough for them to censor the internet so they are definitely not going to open up these sites so that the public can say whatever they want when they want.
I truly hope that one day, hopefully in the near future, that the people of China will be able to experience true freedom of speech and that the government comes to respect the century that we are living in.
- Argenti, P. A. (2009). Corporate communication. (5 ed.
, pp. 1-22). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill/Irwin. Austin, S. (Performer). (2012).
- Google alerts user’s to china’s web blocks. [Web Video]. Retrieved from http://live. wsj. com/video/google-alerts-users-to-china-web-blocks/D852019D-A55E-4A0A-8235-6C95A3E7A181. html Evans, K.
- Google’s china gamble. [Web Video]. Retrieved from http://live.
wsj. com/video/am-report-google-china-gamble/FA9FB8B4-BDC8-4F50-B8B1-9BA41F43DBD0. html