The Microsoft Corporation was founded in 1975 by Bill Gates and Paul Allen, two MIT students. According to crunchbase.com (2011) Microsoft is known for its “Microsoft Windows operating system and the Microsoft Office suite of productivity software”, as well as other products like Xbox, Zune and the Bing Search engine (para.1). What started out as a garage company has over the years blossomed into a software conglomerate of 89,000 employees.
Aside from their internationally recognized products, I attribute Microsoft’s success and longevity of market reign to the fact they are a combination of an organic and mechanic organization. The average of organic components seems to be higher than the mechanic components. In his interview with Microsoft employees Kreitner reveals that Microsoft’s general internal attitude is one of non-conformity. Employees are encouraged to be themselves and are supplied the tools and the surroundings to be creative and productive. There appears to be little rigid supervision but rather a sense of everybody working towards the same goal in groups of several divisions. Employees have the opportunity to express their creativity and test products internally to see initial response as a test run before they present their ideas to management or other product development groups. While Kreitner’s case study (2008) “A Country Called Microsoft” mostly describes Microsoft to be a very flexible organization, there is evidence of mechanic procedures, “…developers and testers convene to enumerate and evaluate hundreds of bugs and potential bugs…” (p. 191). This is one of the essential processes to every product Microsoft creates, and they are repeated over and over. The key mission of Microsoft is to ship product.
It is evident that a blended organizational structure works well for Microsoft. The software market is a fast pace market where new products are constantly required, yet the lifespan of a product is short most of the time, as it is soon replaced with something new, faster, and better. Microsoft’s organic approach allows them to be flexible in an ever changing market. Combined talents and ideas allow for constant output of new and better product. The mechanic approach of constant testing assures high quality products that a large market share will want to buy and be loyal to.
In examining Microsoft’s organization culture several characteristics emerge; collective, emotionally charged, historically based, and inherently symbolic. Kreitner (2008) describes Microsoft’s ethos as the...