Google Case Study

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The Strategic Contribution of Corporate Social Responsibility to Google
Company Background
Over the last decade Google has become one of the largest and most successful global firms. Founded in 1998 and beginning as an online search engine, Google has evolved into a multi-faceted technology giant. Their success is evident in indicators including; revenue, market share, and brand value.
Google success can be seen in its staggering revenue figures. Google announced $55 billion in total revenue for 2013, which is 189th on Forbes 500 list, the majority coming from advertising (Google Investor, 2014). On top of this their profits exceeded $15 billion. Despite a narrow revenue stream, Google’s broad product range is also a measure of their success. Part of the strategic developed of the company has been through diversification. This has been achieved through commitment to a policy of bold and aggressive acquisitions, currently they hold over 100 products in their portfolio. This gives them broad awareness, vast economies of scale and sustainability across their product-lifecycle and Boston matrix (Hooley et al 2008).
As a result of their huge number of sub-brands, assessing the market share of all their operations is difficult. In their key markets they hold the following shares;
Search Engine Android Smart Phones Digital Advertising
66.9% (comScore, 2013) 79.3% (clark & Connors, 2013) 33.2% (Efrati, 2013)
In each of these markets these percentages indicates that Google is an influential market leader and by definition holds monopoly powers. Research shows that high market share benefits and increases firms' profitability (Kekra & Srinvasan 1990).
The company also consistently scores highly in terms of brand value; 5th on Forbes list...

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... would be able to benefit if they truly began to appreciate the responsibility they have to their stakeholders.
This means shifting towards the ‘social innovation’ paradigm where stakeholders are seen as opportunities, not charity cases. (Dess et al, 2012). To do this the company must begin to understand itself and its actions in a virtuous context, and avoid the rational oversimplified justification of its actions through the notion maximum utility (Moore, and Beadle, 2009). Developing such an ethos requires; properly defined values, stakeholder balance, process integrity and a long-term perspective (Ardichvili et al 2009). Doing so will allow them to develop synergistic relationships with their stakeholders and develop their business in a sustainable way. In this sense I believe that CSR has a very valuable role to play for google in their strategic development.
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