Facebookis a service for social networking. Mark Zuckerberg and EduardoSaverin founded the company on February 4th,2004.They were both Harvard University students. The initial members, ofFacebook, were Harvard students. It then expanded to the colleges inthe Boston area and the Ivy League. In September, Facebook wasavailable to all from age 13 provide one had an email address. Withintwelve hours after its launch, 1200 people signed up (Walter,2013)
Facebookincorporated in the year 2004. It was a tipping point. It also movedits base to Palo Alto, California. Another tipping point is when itdropped ‘The’ from its name on purchasing Facebook.com domainname. Facebook spread to 21 universities worldwide. It also made itsmembership open to members of companies and like Microsoft and AppleInc.
Facebookavoided by outs by Google and Yahoo. It purchased FriendFeed,Instagram, and WhatsApp. The company’s mission is to empower peopleso that they can share and make the world connected and more open.The organization culture is open and collaborative. Employees enjoythe freedom to manage themselves and are autonomous. It believes insmall teams that are innovative driven. There is no office politicsand distinction of the various departments. The work area layout doesnot have cubicles and even Zuckerburg shares the desk space likeother engineers.
Despitethis unique structure, it is still a fast paced environment andprovides an opportunity to work with the brightest in the industry.Workers are free to work from home, but they are performance driven.It is a matrix type of organization with 109 executives with 16subsidiaries. The employeesare young, and the turnover rate is high. This structure encouragesinformation to flow freely within the business.
Facebook’smatrix structure design make use of unitary and multi-dimensionalform layout. Each organizational unit is answerable to variouscorporate leaders for varied aspects of the tasks done. The design isorganic with management layers being few, a small amount of jobspecialization, little direct supervision and decision making donede-centrally.
Theorganization’s long-term goal is to be a cross-platform, enablingdevelopers to create and develop their apps for the leading mobileplatforms. Its next target centers on serving the existing businessesand communities and assisting them to attain their full potential. Itseeks to connect people through services like messenger Instagram andwhatsApp.
Itsemployees enjoy attractive benefits. Employees receive reimbursementfor child care expenses. Employees also enjoy food facilities.Information flows because there are no hierarchy levels. Staff takeon projects on a voluntary basis and can directly contact the topauthority. The monthly meeting held also helps unify the teams.
Itstarted as a startup and is now a multinational company. Theemployees can freely put across their suggestions. Facebook organizesengineering boot camp programs do train its engineers. Thanks to itsapproach to innovation, we have products like the timeline, theticker, link with Instagram, the like button and much more. Recruitedstaff not only enjoy high salaries, but they also get a bonus likeFacebook stock options (Miller2011).
Theare several tipping points for Facebook. The first one is embracingof advertisement leading to profitability. Sheryl Sandberg pioneeredthis. She was brought on as a chief operating officer in March of2008. Her task was to come up with a long-term monetization strategy.After holding some brainstorming sessions with the employees, shereached the conclusion that advertising would be the mainmonetization source. She spearheaded some changes to the advertisingmodel. It resulted in Facebook turning cash flow positive in 2009.There was the need to exercise caution when doing this. It wasbecause Facebook clients would see more advertisements because ofthis policy. Too many adverts would push away clients. The revenuecontinued to rise from this and in 2012 profits increased by 65% toone billion. Revenue attributable to advertisement also went up.
Beinga service company Facebooks input are largely the skills of thestaff. They tirelessly work to ensure that they meet user needs andcome up with innovative services. The skilled team makes sure thatFacebook remains relevant and is always a cut above its competitors.
Toplevel organizational processes that make Facebook what it is is theCEO Zuckerberg building a culture where the employees have the sameperspective of the company’s mission as he does. It according tohim enables the company to take on more tasks and products for whichthere is a market gap. The company’s drive is to make the worldmore open and connected.
Anothertop level management process that is unique is the talent acquisitionprocess.Facebook quantifies employees. An example is an engineer atFacebook is worth half to one million. The organization also has anextended six-week boot camp for onboarding which provides recruitswith a choice. The process takes six weeks. The recruits work withteams on actual projects. The paperwork bit is provided forehandbefore the start of the camp. After the camp, the recruits are askedwhich team they would like to join. The workers also get free foodand have happy hour every Friday.
Whenit comes to outputs, we see the company coming up with great socialproducts. It provides a broad range of advertising and communicationsproducts. Examples are Instagram where you can share photos,messenger which enables instant communications.Facebook allows one toput up advertisements. It also has the dynamic product adverts.
Tippingpoint beyond which the organization’s Identity will be lost
Ifthe organization engage extensively in advertising, it would beunrecognizable. For some time Facebook refrained from advertising soas to maintain its identity as a purely social network and not acorporate out to make supernormal profits. Mark Zuckerberg andEduardo Saverin paid the cost of operating its website. The websitehad few advertisements to meet the costs of operations. The Venturecapitalist, Peter Thiel co-founder of PayPal and a privateinvestor(Walter, 2013), was the first outsider to invest in thecompany. His investment was $500,000 and for it, he got a stake inthe enterprise. In the year 2005, Accel Partners invested $13.7million in venture capital intoFacebook.
Facebookwould lose its identity if it flooded its users with advertisements.To avoid reaching this tipping point. It designed a strict privacypolicy. It promises its users that their information will remainconfidential and not to circulate it to third parties likeadvertisers and marketer. Also, the applications that run in theFacebook environment have to ask the users permission before usingtheir personal data. You are also able to limit those who view youprofile information and when you make a post you can select who willbe able to see this. It is because of this that Facebook users feelsafe while sharing their information and are protected from a floodof targeted advertisements.
Anothertipping point would be nondirectional acquisitions. In August 2009Facebook acquired a start-up called Friends Feed from Paul Buchheit.The company specialized in real-time news aggregation. In 2010 itacquired a contact importing tart up called Octazen Solutions. Italso bought Divvyshot a photo sharing service. 2012 saw the companybuying the Instagram, for $1 billion dollars (Lee,2014).Fromthis trend, we see Facebook sticking to its line of business andbuying firms that complement it existing services. It is thisacquisition strategy that ensures the company does not lose itsidentity. If it were to buy other non-related online service companylike those specializing in email delivery among others, then it wouldbecome unrecognizable.
Systemsthery & Boulding’s hierarchy .
Thegeneral systems theory and Boulding’s hierarchy of systems looksinto how science has over specialized. It also examines absence ofcommunication between varied areas. To counter this, it proposesover-arching language of concepts and arranged constructs andtheoretical systems put in an elaborate hierarchy to solve this. Toput it simply it is a system of systems. For Facebook, it is workingwith its unique structure that results in its success. Indeed firmsin the technology industry have disapproved the old hierarchy ofsystems resulting in greater performance and increased productivity. Thecompany may employ frameworks. It involves relationships and staticstructures here Facebook can create better staff relationships. Itcan be through additional team building exercises.Thefirm may employ clockwork. It means that an organization isstraightforward and dynamic and has a predetermined motion. Facebookis vibrant. The leaders interact efficiently due to the absence of arigid hierarchical structure.Thethird element level according to Boulding is a cybernetic system. Ithas a feedback mechanism that permits transmission of information andits interpretation. Due to all employees of Facebook working at thesame area, this is possible.There are various other general systemstheories and Boulding hierarchy of system that might assist theexecutive leadership.
Stocksand associated flows.
Flowshere refer to orders flow, personnel flow, the flow of moneymaterials and machinery. The stock of materials relates to a backlogof orders. For an organization, the stock of orders determines thebacklog of orders awaiting processing. For Facebook, the threephysical stocks could be ordered booking, deliveries, and salesstaff. On the other hand, the associated flows are Order backlogs andsales staff
Amplifiesor enhance changes. By doing so, it tends to push a system further ofits equilibrium. An example of such when you refer to my firm ofstudy is the that when profits increase due to increased revenuefrom advertisement, the number of advertisement may increase
Applicationof stock flows and feedback loops and how they assist in decisionmaking.
Agood understanding of stock flow helps one know what stocks he/shehas. It also shows what controls the flow in the system and thedecision tree used. As such management can use this information tomanipulate production and also increase productivity. Feedback loopshelp establish the dynamics of a system. It helps in getting astructural explanation of mechanics that underlying the dynamicbehavior of the scheme. Thus management can make an informeddecision.
Herethe fundamental concept is questioned. It brings to light people’saspirations and hopes. A shared vision is vital for learningorganizations because it provides the focus and energy for learning(Dar-Ei,2000). Itbreaks resistance and unearths any reservations employees mayhave.With the help of tools like values alignment and positivevisioning, employees have a shared vision. For Facebook, duringonboarding, the recruits are entrusted with Facebook’s sourcecode.They thus feel a part of the organization’s vision. Thecompany may improve its use of the discipline through regular reviewof its shared vision to ensure it is relevant to the economic time.It could also continually organize workshops where the staffs learnits importance.
Deep-seatedmental models have been known to aid in change success. Mental modelsinfluence the way people behave (InBansal, In Phatak, In Sharma & Prestige Institute of Managementand Research, 2015)They are basically assumptions that establish how people act andthink. Individuals at Facebook have one on one access to the variousdepartment heads. They can challenge and question assumptions toenhance their understanding.The firm can create more forums wherestaff can challenge mental models.
Itemphasizes on self-awareness. It deals with knowing ourselves and theimpact of our behavior on others. Persona mastery depends oncreativity (Jackson,2002).For Facebook, the staffs are encouraged to be self-aware of how theirbehavior affects the attainment of the organization’s objective.The company can hire coaches to work with staff who do not have thepersonal mastery skills
Itis another learning discipline. It takes place when individuals worktogether. Sharing of experiences insight and knowledge takes placethrough this techniques. It is encouraged from the time of onboarding at Facebook.Recruits learn while in teams and at the end get to choose which teamthey and projects they want to take on. The organization can find away to document or record the lessons of the team learning so that itcan be analyzed or reused in future.
Itis another learning discipline. This looks into underlying complexsituations as opposed to simple cause –effect chains.Team leadersemploy Archetype and systems thinking maps. To examine events, thecompany at time likes to conduct surveys on Facebook. This It how ituses this learning discipline. The company should find additionalways to observe system thinking by exposing its staff to complexsituations. It will enable the business to know what caliber ofemployees it has.
SystemsArchetypes are observable structures that are generic. They showbehaviors that are qualitatively similar when it comes to business.
Balancingprocess with delay
Itexplains a system where delaying the action is the best response.Without the delayed feedback
,the agents may end up overshooting. If they are not conscious of thedelay, they may end up taking more corrective actions than needed(Mascarenhas,2011)To counter it, staff members need to be patient to accelerate thesystems reaction. It can be applied when releasing new services onFacebook. They can delay the release date of new services to avoidovershooting.
Unprecedentedgrowth results from a process of reinforcing till the system reachesits peak. Growth halt takes place and limits arise inside or outsidethe system. When there is no proper recognition of the limits, theprior methods are continuously and aggressively applied. The systemdecreases. To counteract this decline, the cause of limitation needsto be weakened or eliminated. A way to avoid it is to anticipate thepossible consequences of the rapid growth (Vries,2013). Inour case, Facebook realized that for it to increase its revenue andvalue, it needed new policies. It thus took up a monetizationdirection that focused on advertising and also went public through itIPO.
Thisarchetype involves coming up with fixes for the problem that resultin immediate positive effects.It favors the tendency to prefershort-term symptomatic solutions that immediately produce visibleresults ( Mella,2014).Theside effects of the solution show in the future. For thisorganization, it came up with privacy policies to protect its users.Some of these policies inhibit it from deploying some of theapplications automatically to users. To resolve this, it had toreview some of its user agreements. It also resorted to having theapplications request the users for permission before accessing orsharing private information.
Myadvice to the management is to retain their organization structure.This structure works well for them. The employees have a sense ofownership towards the company and as such are loyal and work hard tomeet their target. The layout is very comfortable and flexible thusensuring high productivity.
Dar-Ei,E. M. (2000). HUMANLEARNING: From Learning Curves to Learning s.Boston, MA: Springer US.
InBansal, A., In Phatak, Y., In Sharma, R. K., & Prestige Instituteof Management and Research,. (2015). Qualitymanagement practices for global excellence.
Jackson,M. C. (2002). SystemsApproaches to Management.Boston, MA: Kluwer Academic Publishers.
Lee,N. (2014).Facebooknation: Total information awareness.
Mascarenhas,O. A. J. (2011). Businesstransformation strategies: The strategic leader as innovationmanager.New Delhi: Response Books.
Mella,P. (2014). Themagic ring: Systems thinking approach to control systems
Miller,D. (2011). TalesfromFacebook.Cambridge, UK: Polity Press.
Vries,B. . (2013). Sustainabilityscience.New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.
Walter,E. (2013). Thinklike Zuck: The five business secrets ofFacebook`s improbablybrilliant CEO Mark Zuckerberg.New York: McGrawHill.