Google was established with a clear mission in mind: to organize the world’s information and make it universally acceptable and useful. Google has developed a search engine that accesses information from all over the web for the user. On the back of its popular search engine, Google has also built a highly profitable advertising business. One of the founding values of the company is captured in the mantra “don’t be evil” that Google takes very seriously.
When a company goes global, it is likely that some of the values may conflict with the realities of an international context. The company then has to decide a pragmatic solution, based on its true beliefs, without compromising on its values, to maintain the credibility of its operations and culture among its stakeholders.
Given the information in the Closing Case on page 53, the chapter material for Chapter two, and the impact of subsequent information since the case was written, you are considering your situation.
As an investigative reporter writing an article on the difficulties of maintaining a firm’s vision, mission, and core values when entering global markets. As part of the research into that article, you are considering the ethical dilemma faced by Google as they expand into China. As you are making your notes for the article, you have noted three questions for further research and thought, as well as a need for a facts update. Given those notes you have determined to address the following outline items in an executive summary to your editor:
- Factual Update on Google’s current situation in China
- Conflicts facing Google’s management team, and board of directors in evaluating their ideal corporate mission against the challenges faced by Google by operating conditions in China.
- Evaluation of how the concept of “moral courage” applies to Google as it weighs its corporate future in China, one of the largest potential worldwide emerging markets.
- Exactly who are Google’s stakeholders and how do they affect the options open to Google?