Google Inc.’s Democratic Leadership Style

Google and Democratic Leadership

Google is one of the leading companies in the world in terms of size and performance. The company has flourished over the years, mainly due to its effective management and leadership strategies. Democratic leadership is a type of leadership where employees or team members are given an opportunity to participate in the decision-making process in a company or organization. Google has embraced democratic leadership in its day-to-day activities, and this has turned out to be very effective in enhancing the productivity and competitiveness of the company in the technology industry.

Employees have also been productive due to increased motivation to work in a thriving company and an accommodating environment. There are various characteristics of democratic leadership, as witnessed at Google. One of these characteristics involves encouraging employees to share views and ideas despite the fact that the final decision will be made by management (Raelin, 2012). This leadership strategy makes employees feel more engaged in the organization’s processes and encourages creativity among employees.

Google is a company that requires many new strategies and ideas, thus the need for democratic leadership that attracts creativity and skills for knowledge enhancement. The company also gives its employees an opportunity to contribute to the decision-making process through dialogue. Employees are also required to initiate plans for implementing decisions as well as make a decision on the best course of action in pursuing goals. This engagement of employees in dialogue makes them feel motivated and committed in the course of achieving goals.

Added Value for Democratic Leadership

Democratic leadership enhances efficiency in an organization by motivating and inspiring employees to participate in goals and targets determination, as well as in finding solutions to problems. In addition, democratic leadership makes employees feel greatly valued, thus making them be dedicated to the project’s short-term and long-term results. A lot of research has been carried out on democratic leadership, with results showing its importance in increasing team or employees’ productivity (Raelin, 2012).

Democratic leadership is very effective for leaders whose major aim is to make employees stay fully informed on issues that have a possibility of affecting them and the organization. It is also beneficial to leaders who require workers to take part in solving problems and making a decision. Moreover, democratic leadership helps organizations to give frequent opportunities to their followers to build their intellectual capabilities, career growth, and job satisfaction (Bhatti, Maitlo, Shaikh, Hashmi, & Shaikh, 2012); it also enhances team building and teamwork.

It is worth noting that democratic leadership encourages value addition and flexibility. This is normally evident when a leader or management team carries out work in association with employees who are experienced. Providing employees with an opportunity to share ideas enhances open minds and concentration, thus helping them to generate competitive and innovative ideas that would improve the company’s products and services. The company will be able to introduce high-quality products in the market, thus gaining a competitive edge over its rivals. This is also an opportunity to acquire a large market share, penetrate deeper into the market, and increase revenues (Organiz, 2003).

Impact on the Overall Company Image

A company that uses democratic leadership is able to build a high-quality image in society. Creative minds are always associated with quality products and services since employees always come up with new and competitive ideas that allow effective publicity in the market. Democratic leadership is an important ingredient in talent development and empowerment of skills in employees, with an overall aim of enhancing goal attainment.

People associate big companies like Google with proper, high-skilled, and democratic minds, thus helping in the promotion of the company’s image worldwide. This perception is one aspect that has made Google a leader in the international market. Democratic leadership also assists a company in creating proper international relations and advanced public image, which tend to attract competition from companies that would like to imitate the success of Google.

However, proper strategies and employee involvement in the sharing of ideas and problem-solving would greatly enhance the capability of the firm to easily overcome competition. Nevertheless, increased competition is sometimes healthy, as it keeps the company on its toes in relation to innovation as well as strategy formulation and implementation (Leadership Toolbox, 2008).

Contrast with the United Airlines

Democratic leadership used at Google is a far much better and effective leadership strategy than the type of leadership used by United Airlines. Employees need to feel motivated and appreciated at all times, as well as to be given opportunities to share their abilities, talents, and ideas, as this improves their productivity. United Airlines does not recognize its employees’ creativity and potential.

The company practices a leadership strategy that allows only the management an opportunity to make decisions, thus giving no room for employee participation. At some point, this has led to a lack of motivation among employees as well as poor decision making by the management, leading to ineffectiveness and poor results. In United Airlines, employees have to follow the rules without question. However, a democratic leadership strategy could highly influence the company’s creativity and allow positive changes to take place.

Kind of Leadership to Promote Efficiency

Democratic leadership promotes efficiency in an organization in terms of productivity, time management, employee management, and marketing strategies. The involvement of employees in decision making influences their level of productivity since they feel wanted and recognized by the company. Employees feel that their efforts are not just wasted, and though the management makes the final decision, just an opportunity to share ideas drives their creativity and passion.

When different minds come up with different solutions, there is a high probability of making an effective decision. This helps new ideas to be created, new products and services to be introduced, new markets to be established, and new customers to be identified, thus leading to high quality and efficiency (Whitmell, 2005).

There are various contingencies that can affect the outcome of democratic leadership. One of the contingencies is the company’s unwillingness to provide good pay and compensation to employees in proportion to their work. When employees get involved in a company’s creativity and generate new strategic ideas that are effective and successful, it then calls for compensation and appreciation, which most employers may not be willing to offer. Another hindrance is lack of available resources to implement some ideas, which might improve a company’s market share and productivity (Pride, Hughes, & Kapoor, 2010). Lack of finances is also another problem that can hinder various outcomes of democratic leadership. Indeed, poor leadership leads to lack of proper decision making.


Although various classical types of leadership are used in contemporary business environment, democratic leadership tends to be highly valued due to its positive influence on productivity and decision making. As shown above, many of successful companies, including Google, have embraced democratic leadership style and received recognition as the most effective companies to work in.


Bhatti, N., Maitlo, G. M., Shaikh, N., Hashmi, M. A., & Shaikh, F. M. (2012). The Impact of Autocratic and Democratic Leadership Style on Job Satisfaction. International Business Research, 5(2), 1-5.

Leadership- (2008). Leadership Styles: Democratic Leadership Style. Web.

Organiz, J. (2003). Relationships of participative leadership with relational demography variables:a multi-level perspective. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 24(8) , 1003–1018.

Pride, W., Hughes, R., & Kapoor, J. (2010). Business. OH: Cengage Learning.

Raelin, J. A. (2012). Dialogue and deliberation as expressions of democratic leadership in participatory organizational change. Journal of Organizational Change Management, 25(1) , 7-23.

Whitmell, V. (2005). Staff Planning in a Time of Demographic Change. Oxford: Scarecrow Press.

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