Alphabet Inc Leadership Model and Organizational Structure

Alphabet Inc Leadership Model and Organizational Structure
Alphabet Inc Leadership Model and Organizational Structure

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Leadership Model and Organizational Structure

Background Information

Organizations today have recognized that their success and competitive nature relies on the need to heavily depend on information technology (IT) in enhancing their management practices. This has resulted in a demand for qualified IT leaders and professionals who have the capacity to increase the performance of an organization; an aspect that confronts the element of boundary spanning that requires the collaborative efforts of different users in ensuring the success of projects.

Alphabet Inc is one of the multinational conglomerates in America that was founded in October 2015. The company is an affiliate of Google among several other entities that bases its portfolio on life sciences, technology, research, and investment capital (Eshaq 2015).

Alphabet Inc Leadership Model and Organizational Structure

Alphabet Inc has a cross-functional organizational structure that uses the element of function as an approach in grouping its employees. The company has a developed engineering and design team, sales operators, and project management teams.

On the other hand, Alphabet also uses products as a form of grouping its employees and achieves this by grouping its employees in developing Nexus products and devices (Eshaq Lastly, the employees of the organization are also grouped on the bases of its fiber business, an aspect that depicts the flatness of the company’s structure. This clearly indicates that the employees, groups and teams of this company have the capacity to bypass the management team and directly report to the CEO.

Alphabet’s structure is developed to prosper through its strong leadership systems that give its management independence in conducting the functions of the organization (Vaccaro, Generally, the company’s model is based on an approach that gives the CIO an opportunity to run the business of the company. The CEO is assisted by manager’s who are tasked with handling the company’s capital allocations. They also ensure that the business functions of the organization are executed.

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Comparison and Contrast of Two Leadership Theories

The transactional leadership approach as employed in Alphabet Inc is a style that primarily maintains a normal flow of functions within an organization. Transactional leaders within this organization keep shifts afloat by incorporating disciplinary powers and incentives in an approach aimed at motivating employees to achieve their goals.

Alternatively, the transformational leadership approach incorporates approaches aimed at crafting strategies directed towards improving the performance and success levels of an organization, an aspect that draws its strength from collaboration, motivation and team-building within employees (Vaccaro, It is imperative to acknowledge that both the transactional and transformational leadership styles ensure that leaders set their goals and motivational approaches aimed at ensuring subordinates achieve their goals while ensuring that opportunities are available in advancing their personal growth.

On the other hand, transactional leaders are not driven towards guiding an organization to a market position of leadership since the leaders are primarily focused on ensuring an organization flows in a smooth way daily (Zhiqiang Liu, However, transformational leaders apply the element of charisma as an approach of inspiring their subordinates to achieve goals. This aspect is inspired by the inclusion of ideals, values, and morals in the process.

Table 1: Transaction and transformational leadership styles

 Transformational LeadershipTransactional Leadership
1Encourages change and thinking outside the boxWorks to maintain things the same, tends to avoid change
2Private and public acknowledgment of accomplishments – higher-level needsPunishments and rewards – low-level needs
3Concerned with ideas over processesConcerned with processes over ideas
4Delegates tasks for members to act in small groupings or independentlyMicro-manages teams to make sure that the set standards are attained
5Inspires followersDoes not inspire followers. Improves productivity

It is essential to establish that these two leadership theories are applicable to IT management leadership since transactional leaders have the capacity to address small operational details efficiently. In this case, it is essential to ascertain that transactional leaders build strong reputations within a marketplace through their efforts of ensuring the employees are productive (Zhiqiang Liu,

However, a transformational leadership approach remains effective in IT management since it aids an organization to achieve its goals through a well-developed strategy that incorporates the element of team-building within the functions of an organization.

Leadership Theory Used In Alphabet Inc

Alphabet Inc believes in the transactional leadership model, an aspect that results in its leaders basing their style on transactions with their subjects. In this case, the leaders of this organization view their human relations as transactions, and thus rewards, reciprocates, and punishes their subjects as a basis of this approach (Norshima&Vimala, 2015). This approach gives the leaders of this organization an opportunity to emphasize on the importance of meeting their short-term goals. The employees are consequently required to adhere to the procedures and standards that are set by the organization.

In addition to this, the leaders of Alphabet invest in efforts aimed at enhancing the employee’s creativity, an aspect that has enabled the organization to improve its productivity and cut its costs. This leadership model is evident in the company’s functions since it makes its followers empowered, satisfied, and self-motivated in achieving their goals more than what is contained in their job descriptions (Norshima&Vimala, 2015).

Comparison and Contrast of Two Organizational Structure Models

The organizational structure of Alphabet Inc influences the manner in which the company conducts its functions. In accordance to how the company is organized, the organization incorporates the functional and product structure in order to meet its goals. In this case, it is essential to establish that an organization that is developed around a functional structure delivers its tasks based on the aligned skills and training of team’s and employee’s (Clegg, Kornberger, Pitsis, 2011).  This structure remains simple to explain to employees, customers, and suppliers while incorporating effective approaches of communication and problem solving since knowledge is identified and shared.

Figure 2: Functional Organizational Structure

In comparison to the product structure model, companies are attracted by responsive changes that occur as a result of the new trends in technology. This aspect enables such organizations to group employees and groups on the basis of skills and expertise, and is additionally supported by infrastructures within a unit.

On the other hand, the functional structure helps in the development of leaders and functional leaders, superiors, and peers that can be accessed within the functions of an organization (Clegg, In contrast to this, the product structure ensures that the aspect of skill expansion and diversification can be incorporated within an organization. However, this model has the capacity to initiate unnecessary competitions internally between particular product groups and business units, an aspect that may be detrimental to the functions of an organization, and an aspect that may inhibit a negative implication in the IT industry.

Figure 3: Product Organizational Structure

Alphabets organizational structure allows the interaction between employees and their leaders, an aspect that makes them feel free to share their opinions and ideas. Innovation remains the centre piece of Alphabet Inc, thus requiring every employee to contribute innovative ideologies towards the development of the company (Clegg,  In this case, the company is structured in a manner that supports the element of excellence and innovation through an approach that enables the employees to share their capabilities and ideas within the organization.

Organizational Structure Model used in Alphabet Inc.

Alphabet Inc is developed on the foundations of a simple organizational structure that is comprised of hierarchical functions consisting of executive leaders who have the capacity to delegate authority and responsibilities down to the leaders within the organization (Strese, 2016). This approach is effectively implemented in the company and allows the founders of the organization (Google) to direct its operations to the leadership of the organization in regulating the manner in which the organization operates.

This approach ensures the initiation of tight compliance approaches that requires the leaders within the organization to adhere to procedures and policies. The structure remains effective in Alphabet since it coordinates activities through its line of authority and slowly reacts of external factors since information travels up the chain of command in the organization and instructions are expected to travel back down (Strese, This critically impacts the manner in which decisions are processes and the application of an efficient leadership style that matches the structure of the company.

The Relationship between Leadership Style and Organizational Structure

Alphabet Inc builds its competitive advantage is critically seen in its approach to enhance and enlarge its functions through the company’s organizational structure.  In this case, it is important to note that Alphabets IT governance changes require that the company makes its decisions to organize its processes and efficiently define its organizational culture (Strese,

The leadership style of Alphabet Inc influences the culture of the organization as detailed in its vision. On the other hand, the leadership element shapes the manner in which values and morals are instilled within the organization that defines the manner in which employees conduct themselves.Decisions within the company are made by the leaders who make consultations from teams, an aspect that is evident in the top down system in which decisions are made by the senior management and the implemented down (Strese,

For instance, when the company undergoes some management problems, the leaders within the organization conduit a solution to such a problem and additionally acts as adapters to these factors. Once the decisions are arrived at, the company dispenses the solution to the bottom leaders who are expected to implement these solutions within the organization.


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Transactional Leadership Theories

Transactional Leadership Theories
Transactional Leadership Theories

Transactional Leadership Theories

Leadership theories include transactional leadership theories and transformational leadership theories. Transactional leadership theory deals with maintaining the operation flow, using disciplinary powers and an array of incentives as ways of ensuring employees perform as expected (Redman, 2013, p 33). Transactional leadership is tailored towards ensuring that everything is running smoothly.

Conversely, transformational leadership involves going beyond the day to task to come up with strategies that would make the organization performance improve and achieve the intended objectives. Some of the activities conducted by transformational leaders include promotion of team building, motivation and employee collaboration to accomplish the expected change (Redman, 2013, p 41).

On the other hand, emotional intelligence theories emphasize on the ability to comprehend and effectively manage individual emotions and of others. The objective of a leader is to accomplish the set task keeping in mind the team to ensure that everything runs as expected. The four elements of emotional intelligence include self-management, awareness and social skills (MacFarlane, et al, 2011, p 69).

Task 4.2

Transformational leadership mostly encourages teamwork and motivation of employees to work together to accomplish the set objective. As a transformational leader, it is important to set goals and incentives that push employees to perform to the best of their abilities at the same time providing opportunities for personal and professional growth.

On the contrary, transactional leadership can be applied through formal authority and responsibilities. Employees will obey the directives that result in expected performance. Transactional leadership can be applied by using both incentives and punishment to enhance performance behaviors (Stainback and Tomaskovic-Devey, 2012, p 74).

Espinilla et al., (2013, p 227) highlight that emotional intelligence theory can be applied by coming up with a strategic plan. Understanding emotions in this process entails perceiving, and managing them. For instance, perception of emotions can be done through surveying to understand customers’ feelings about a specific product. Understanding emotion involves documenting the impact of various market plans by paying close attention to emotional aspects and financial implication. Managing emotion deals with understanding how to be a leader and encouraging desired emotional reaction that will generate positive outcomes.

Task 4.2

At Hounslow tasks should be allocated equally to promote good working relationships and easy management. Every staff needs to comprehend and be made aware of their job description and additional responsibilities. Some of the attributes and features that can help in improving work relationship include trust and honesty.

Additionally, reliable individuals can easily provide constructive feedback and share experiences with other colleagues to impart knowledge and the relevant skills to other colleagues. Effective communication and interaction skills are necessary to manage working relationships (Stainback and Tomaskovic-Devey, 2012, p 77).

Strategies that improve team building also enhance intrapersonal work relationships. Building a conducive environment where communication is open and clear goals are stipulated will results to efficient performance. Team building makes every employee feel valuable in the organization.

Organization structure refers to infrastructure and human resources and how they are utilized to achieve the specified goals.  The overall organization structure needs to be designed to motivate employees to work to the best of their abilities. Work coordination, general operation, employee function and the organization culture need to be conducive to create innovative cultures that foster the competitive advantage of an organization (MacFarlane, et al, 2011, p 76)

Task 4.3

Managing working relationship requires that leaders should trust employees to carry out their duties to high standards. According to CITATION an effective leader is required to respect their employees, be considerate, honest and value their employee’s opinions. Leaders are required to enhance the culture of openness within their teams and put a lot of effort to understand the different values, backgrounds and perspectives of each team members.

Stainback and Tomaskovic-Devey (2012, p 143), explain that working as a team requires effective communication because teamwork focuses more on collaborative efforts to achieve the goals of the organization. Constructive feedback is a process where individuals facilitate a conducive environment to acquire additional skills using appropriate communication strategies. Communication skills require a good understanding of employee perspective on certain issues hence developing a good teamwork.

My own development is primarily influenced by management and leadership approach. As such, I will utilize performance appraisal to help me identify my areas of weaknesses and strengths. I will focus on improving on my weakness by undergoing training or improving myself using self-directed reading to improve my management knowledge.

I will also acknowledge other managers approaches and try to learn from successful managers and leaders. However, I consider the use of team target setting and task allocation to be the most effective management approach. The reason is because I have learned that task allocation not only benefit an individual but a team as a whole.


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LEADER-MEMBER EXCHANGE THEORY is a relationship-based theory of leadership. LMX theory rests firmly on the assumption that leaders influence employees in their group through the quality of the relationships they develop with them (Juneja, 2015). One of the early findings of the LMX theory is that, leaders develop relationships of varying quality with their subordinates and such differentiation characterizes a wide majority of the work groups studied. 

A high quality relationship is characterized by trust, liking, professional respect, and loyalty. They are characterized by the exchange of valued resources. In these relationships, leaders provide support, developmental opportunities, men- toring, and other benefits to the employee.

The provision of such resources results in a motivation to reciprocate to the leader on the part of members, by demonstrating behaviors such as loyalty and higher levels of voluntary behaviors. In other words, the relationship between high LMX quality and promanagerial and occasionally proorganiza- tional behaviors is frequently believed to be a sense of responsibility and high levels of devotion to the supervisor. Furthermore, there is a relationship between LMX quality and outcomes and the degree to which employees believe their leader’s promises will be kept (Hao, et al., 2019).

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The theory states that all relationships between managers and subordinates go through three stages. These are Role-Taking, Role-Making and Routinization (Mindtools, n.d.). When team members initially join the group, they take on roles. Managers utilize this period to examine the talents and competencies of new employees. When new team members begin working on projects and responsibilities as part of the team, role-making happens.

As new team members adjust to their new roles, supervisors often want them to work hard, be loyal, and demonstrate trustworthiness (Mindtools, n.d.). According to the idea, managers classify new team members into one of two categories, in-group or out-group, during this period. If team members demonstrate loyalty, trustworthiness, and skill, they are placed in the In-Group (Mindtools, n.d.).

This group consists of the team members in whom the management has the most faith. In addition, this group receives additional one-on-one time with the manager. People in this category frequently share their manager’s attitude and work ethic. If team members break the manager’s trust or demonstrate that they are uninspired or inept, they are placed in the Out-Group (Gregersen, et al., 2016).

The work of this group is frequently limited and unchallenging. Out-group members have less access to the management and are less likely to be given opportunities for promotion. Routines between team members and their supervisors are created during the Routinization phase (Mindtools, n.d.). In-Group team members strive hard to keep their bosses’ goodwill by demonstrating trust, respect, empathy, patience, and perseverance. Members of the out-group may begin to resent or distrust their bosses (Mindtools, n.d.).

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One of two metrics is used in most empirical studies on LMX theory. The LMX-7 is a single-dimensional scale with seven components (Martin, et al., 2017). The LMX-Multidimensional is made up of 12 components namely affect, loyalty, contribution, and professional respect, each of which captures three dimensions. Many researchers prefer to collapse the dimensions since the multidimensional measure is made up of highly linked dimensions that lie under a second-order component.

Another prevalent trend in LMX research is to assess LMX quality via the eyes of the employee. Correlations are usually minimal when LMX is measured from the perspective of members and leaders. Furthermore, during the early phases of a relationship’s growth, the correlation is less, and the overlap grows as time passes the lack of agreement could be explained by a number of different mechanisms (Gooty & Yammarino, 2016).

When employees and managers are asked how much they like, respect, and feel loyal to one other, it’s only natural that their responses differ. Second, in their relationship, each individual may have varying degrees of success in satisfying the expectations of the other. Third, due to social desirability concerns, leaders may be less inclined to disclose a poor-quality conversation with a team member. Finally, some of the poor correlations reported might be due to the measuring method (Gooty & Yammarino, 2016).

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Member performance and competence appear to be important predictors in the LMX development process as these are helpful behaviors in establishing trustworthiness (Erdogan & Bauer, 2015). When the relationship begins, trust develops as a result of a mutual testing process. Employee’s satisfactory responses to the testing efforts of leaders result in the development of trust on the part of the leader. 

In addition to member performance and similarity to leaders, member personality has been frequently examined as a predictor in cross-sectional work (Erdogan & Bauer, 2015). Meta-analytic results revealed that following member competence and perceived similarity, member positive affec- tivity and the locus of control are the characteristics with the strongest correlations to LMX quality (Martin, et al., 2015).

Furthermore, goal orientation has been explored as an antecedent. Mastery orientation, which refers to the degree to which a person is interested in acquiring new skills, improving and learning, has been shown to be positively related to LMX quality, whereas performance orientation, which refers to the degree to which the person is preoccupied with looking like a high performer and being evaluated well, has been negatively related (Martin, et al., 2015).

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The way that leaders develop different quality relationships with members of their team has been referred to as the LMX differentiation process (Anand, et al., 2015). LMX differentiation is defined as a process by which a leader, through engaging in differing types of exchange patterns with subordinates, forms different quality exchange relationships with them. LMX differentiation does not refer to the mean LMX quality in the team, but to the extent that there are differences in LMX quality within the team (Anand, et al., 2015).

Although LMX differentiation refers to the process by which leaders develop different quality relationships with each team member, the results of that process will be differentiation patterns of LMX quality between team members. Three main properties of the differentiation process pattern that can be identified and assessed include central tendency, variation, and relative position (Cobb & Lau, 2015).

The first property of the differentiation process concerns the within‐team central tendency, which is normally assessed as the team mean or median score. Although most research has examined the mean, some argue that the median is a better indicator of aggregation because it represents the middle person in the team while the mean might not correspond to any team member (Cobb & Lau, 2015). 

There are two dimensions to LMX variation: dispersion which is the amount of spread of LMX between team members and distribution shape, the pattern of LMX within the team. The third property of the LMX differentiation process refers to the within‐team relative position or location of each team member’s LMX quality with respect to other members of the team who are managed by the same leader. It the relative standing of a team member’s LMX compared to other team members (Cobb & Lau, 2015).

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It is important to note that the presence of LMX differentiation increases the salience of fairness concerns. Studies on LMX differentiation highlight the importance of employee awareness of how LMXs are distributed within the group. Employees react not only to their own relationship quality, but also to their coworkers’ relationship quality, and distribution of LMXs matter.

Taking this idea a step further, scholars also started investigating social comparison processes directly, by introducing the concept of relative LMX. Relative LMX is a statistical computation of the degree to which a person’s LMX quality is higher or lower than the team’s LMX average. Utilizing a social comparison approach, scholars argued that having a higher-quality exchange compared to one’s team members is a source of satisfaction.

Controlling for one’s LMX quality, relative LMX is positively related to self- efficacy, performance, citizenship behaviors, and psychological contract fulfillment. In addition to examining relative LMX operationalized as the difference between focal person’s LMX score from the group mean, researchers developed a perceptual measure of relative LMX, directly asking individuals to compare their own rela- tionship quality to the other relations the leader develops with team members.

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Investigations of the nomological network of LMX quality are numerous and this is a mature field of investigation. Yet, there are still research avenues that are important to investigate. One issue is the evolving nature of organizations. LMX theory originated in the 1970s, at a time organizations were charac- terized by tall hierarchies, unity of command, and authority concentrated more at the top (Chen, et al., 2018).

Today, while such organizations continue to exist, there are more novel and contemporary structures under which managers and employees develop relationships. For example, in many contemporary organiza- tions, employees may report to more than one manager, whereas LMX theory is based on the assumption that each member has one, clearly identifiable manager who controls resources valued by the member (Chen, et al., 2018). 

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Recent research (Vidyarthi, et al., 2018) has examined LMX relationships in such a context and showed that in a sample of information technology consultants reporting to two managers, convergence of the quality of these relationships was associated with more positive outcomes. The authors con- tended that each LMX relationship would serve as a compar- ison point for the other relationship, evoking social comparison processes.

In other words, similar to the comparisons employees engage in with their coworkers’ LMXs, it seems that they also compare the multiple exchanges they have with different leaders in their work lives (Vidyarthi, et al., 2018). Such findings indicate that LMX theory would benefit from an extension and testing of the theory in settings that are different from the traditional orga- nizational forms.

As organizations introduce matrix structures where members report to multiple leaders for finite periods of time, or when they eliminate managers by introducing lattice organizations where there are no assigned leaders, the utility of the theory remains unclear. Extension of LMX theory to contemporary organizational structures is an important future direction. 

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A second research direction relates to an examination of LMX quality in relation to coworker relationships (Wang, et al., 2018). We know that LMX quality is associated with positive job attitudes and behaviors. However, we know significantly less about when and why coworkers experience envy or jealousy, or feel nega- tively toward high LMX members. (Tse, et al., 2018) showed that the degree to which LMX quality is positively associated with one aspect of coworker relations is contingent on the degree to which high LMX members also demonstrate help- fulness and discretion.

Systematic investigation of the effects of LMX quality on coworker emotions, behaviors, and reactions to the focal person is a noteworthy area of research. The importance of this topic is also evidenced by the fact that the most recent meta-analysis in LMX theory (Martin, et al., 2016) includes relationships of LMX to a large number of outcomes, but any indicators of coworker relationships is curiously missing, which likely indicates the small number of studies examining LMX quality in relation to coworker relations. 

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In conclusion, while research on LMX has entered a mature phase where much is known about its measurement, anteced- ents, boundary conditions, and consequences, much also remains left to uncover. These include future understanding of how LMX relationships develop and the boundary conditions for relationship devel- opment, how LMX is measured, how relative LMX affects what we know, as well as the key future research themes of the changing nature of work in terms of content and organizational structures, the influence of the social network of relationships, as well as the dark side of LMX. Given these and other potential research questions, we are excited about the future of LMX as a vibrant research area. 


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