SUNY Buffalo State Facebook Case Analysis

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Business Finance

SUNY Buffalo State


Answer the following questions:

  • How do hackathons promote more employee commitment to Facebook?
  • What other ways can individual differences, values, attitudes and diversity be leveraged at Facebook?

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Individual Differences, Values, Attitudes, and Diversity at Facebook Apply the knowledge of management presented in this chapter to the following case. The goal of this case analysis is to enable you to understand what happened at Facebook by applying theory. Read the case below and answer the questions that follow. Mark Zuckerberg, cofounder and creator of Facebook, is now its CEO. He was born in 1984 to well-educated parents: His mom was a psychiatrist and dad a dentist. He went to an exclusive preparatory school and was captain of the fencing team. He liked the classics and writing. He also had passion and skill for working with computers at a very young age. Zuckerberg created his first messaging program using Atari BASIC around age 12. His family used it to communicate, and his dad used it in his dental office. He entered Harvard in 2002 and quickly became known as a skilled software developer. Zuckerberg developed computer skills at Harvard working on projects like CourseMatch, Facemash, and Harvard Connection. The Harvard Connection experience resulted in the famous lawsuit between the founders of Harvard Connection and Zuckerberg: Zuckerberg settled for around $65 million. He started the core of Facebook from his dorm room and left Harvard in 2004 to work full-time on Facebook.233 In 2018, there were more than 2.2 billion active Facebook users.234 The most common demographic of users is age 25–34 (29.7%). The company’s revenue grew from $7.8 billion in 2013 to over $40 billion in 2018. Facebook is clearly the largest, and potentially most influential, social media site on the planet.235 Zuckerberg’s Personal Characteristics Zuckerberg, or Zuck, as known to most of his acquaintances, is pale, medium build, and about five feet eight. He stands erect and generally dresses in T- shirts, jeans, and sneakers. “His affect can be distant and disorienting, a strange mixture of shy and cocky,” according to a New Yorker writer. “When he’s not interested in what someone is talking about, he’ll just look away and say, ‘Yeah, yeah.’” He’s known to come across as flip and condescending, but “face to face he is often charming,” says the writer.236 Zuckerberg does not prefer speaking to the press or participating in public appearances. He is highly motivated and turned down offers to sell Facebook for billions in the early 2000s because he wanted to keep running and growing the company. Founding and growing the company demonstrates intelligence and risk taking. It certainly took courage to drop out of Harvard to pursue a dream.237 He’s generous and believes in equality, world peace, and happiness. In 2013, “he donated $100 million to the failing Newark Public School system in New Jersey” and “signed the ‘Giving Pledge,’ promising to donate at least 50 percent of his wealth to charity over the course of his lifetime.”238 Zuckerberg is driven to achieve and has high expectations of others. He stated, “Move fast and break things. Unless you are breaking stuff, you are not moving fast enough.” He also cares about building something that improves the lives of others. “And if you can make something that makes people’s life better, then that’s something that’s really good,” he said.239 Facebook’s Mission, Values, and Culture Zuckerberg did not start Facebook to make money. Rather, he was pursuing a social mission “to make the world more open and connected.” In Facebook’s IPO letter, Zuckerberg wrote, “Facebook aspires to build the services that give people the power to share and help them once again transform many of our core institutions and industries. . . . We don’t build services to make money; we make money to build better services.”240 Facebook’s five core values include the following: focus on impact, move fast, be bold, be open, and build social value.241 These values compose the core of Facebook’s culture, which Zuckerberg refers to as the “Hacker Way.” Zuckerberg described the hacker way as “an approach to building that involves continuous improvement and iteration. Hackers believe that something can always be better, and that nothing is ever complete... Hacker culture is also extremely open and meritocratic. Hackers believe that the best idea and implementation should always win—not the person who is lobbying for an idea or the person who manages the most people.”242 The company encourages this culture by conducting hackathons every few months. People build and share prototypes at these sessions. At the end, the best ideas are selected for further development. Employees are happy with Facebook’s culture and work environment, according to a survey conducted by jobs site Payscale. Ninety-six percent of employees reported high satisfaction, and 44 percent had high stress. These results are better than those from peer companies like Google, Apple, Amazon, and Tesla.243 Facebook Lacks Diversity Managing diversity is a hot topic among technology companies. This is an outgrowth of the demographic composition of people working in this industry. Rather than hide from this profile, companies have started to display transparency by publishing their diversity profiles. Facebook’s diversity report showed 68 percent male and 32 percent female. Ethnicity data for its U.S. workforce revealed 55 percent white, 36 percent Asian, 4 percent Hispanic, 3 percent two or more races, and 2 percent black. This pattern is similar to those of Google and Apple. Google’s diversity report showed 70 percent male and U.S. workforce diversity of 61 percent white, 30 percent Asian, 4 percent two or more races, 3 percent Hispanic, and 2 percent black. Apple’s U.S. demographics found 30 percent female and 55 percent white, 15 percent Asian, 11 percent Hispanic, 7 percent black, 2 percent two or more races, 1 percent other, and 9 percent undeclared.244 Facebook executives acknowledge that the workforce is not overly diverse and committed to improving its demographic profile. Maxine Williams, global director of diversity, commented that “diversity is central to Facebook’s mission of creating a more open and connected world: it’s good for our products and for our business. Cognitive diversity, or diversity of thought, matters because we are building a platform that currently serves 1.4 billion people around the world. It’s vital for us to have a broad range of perspectives, including people of different genders, races, ages, sexual orientations, characteristics and points of view.”245 Facebook has initiated a number of programs aimed at improving its demographic profile. They include the following: 1. Diverse slate approach. This pilot program ensures that every job opening considers at least one candidate from an underrepresented group. 2. Facebook University. This program invites college freshmen with exceptional talent from underrepresented groups to work on summer projects with Facebook mentors. 3. Managing Bias training course. This course educates employees about stereotypes and implicit biases. 4. Computer Science and Engineering Lean In Circles. This program partners with, LinkedIn, and The Anita Borg Institute to create a community of support for women and some men as they pursue technology and engineering careers.246 Peer 1: • How do hackathons promote more employee commitment to Facebook? The article says that 96% of Facebook employees feel highly satisfied with Facebooks company culture and work environment. I think by conducting the hackathons, Facebook is allowing employee's ideas be heard which ultimately keeps their employees committed with Facebook. It is understandable, by having your voice heard you will feel more satisified with your role at your job. Other than an employees ability to have their idea presented and potentially selected for further development I see no further reasoning behind hackathons promoting employee commitment. • What other ways can individual differences, values, attitudes and diversity be leveraged at Facebook? Beyond the four programs Facebook has initiated I believe that there are many courses of action that Facebook can take to improve individual differences, values, attitudes, and diversity. I believee that Facebook should look into paying attention to organizational culture, considering providing a diversity training program, promote a diverse way of thinking, and maybe bring in a multilingual workforce. There are many proven facets that companies have taken to promote these four attributes Facebook are looking at. The ones I listed are just a few of many that can be quite easily implemented to improve in said four areas. Peer 2; The hackathons that Facebook conducts promote their meritocracy culture, which according to the justice theory, leads to increased employee satisfaction and commitment. They also use this to empower employees to come up with their own ideas and innovations. Using the hackathon, Facebook gives their employees the opportunity to use these ideas they have come up with to make a difference in the company by demonstrating it during the competition. Facebook could be using the different values, beliefs, and the diversity of their employees in a way similar to the hackathon that may be able to decrease the high stress of employees. Using the meritocracy of their ‘Hacker way’, they could go to employees directly to determine their specific needs and what they think would be the best way to tackle problems. The problems that employees could weigh in on could be about ways to decrease employee stress or how to increase employee diversity.
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Facebook Case Analysis Outline
Primary Post Discussion

Hackathon has developed the culture of meritocracy and growth for Facebook

Supported by the CEO

Teamwork, multilingual programs has enhance diversity and employee satisfaction

Teamwork can also be strengthened through gaming events where individuals are given
the audacity to interact with the existing gaming infrastructure and activities that enhance

Reply Post One

Enhancing gaming culture is one of the best approaches to improve individual differences
and helps in tapping employee strongholds to the very best.

It brings a sense of competition that will eventually help build a reputation for excellence
for all employees.

Gaming sharpens the capacity to offer cognitive solutions and arguments behind
workplace challenges.

Reply Post Two

There are many other ways to foster posterity and sustainable employee satisfaction.

Welcoming a multilingual workforce is the underlying move of inclusivity and diversity
within any organization.


Facebook Case Analysis

Student's Name
Institutional Affiliation
Professor's name

Primary Post Discussion
The presence of competitive and skilled personnel is a dominant factor of success for
many business establishments. Facebook is one of the business powerhouses and technological
entities that have successfully integrated the culture of skilled personnel integration. Hackathon
is an influential culture that is synonymous with Zuckerberg's success tale and Facebook.
Hackathons are organized at intervals of several months, and it has helped the company
workforce to whole new heights of commitment, focus and excellence. Employees can enjoy
meritocratic and generally open. A collective winning attitude and exposure is the order of the
day with Hackathons. All team players are inherent winners no matter who lobby or implement
an idea. This has helped the team of experts’ crowdsource ideas that comprehensively trigger the
gates to new and advanced technology and updates for effective business transformation and
models. Technology updates such as the like button, tagging on comments and Timeline attribute
were successful ideas and implementation from the company experts. All thanks to internal
hackathons wholeheartedly supported by the CEO.
Away from hackathons' culture, there are other ways through which Facebook can
leverage improved attitudes, individual differences and values. Individual talent can be easily
tapped during outbound travel arrangements where leadership and teamwork executions are
primarily imposed. The outbound travels offer a calm and transparent background for all to
shape, share and even expand their ideas and skills to better the organizations. Teamwork can
also be strengthened through gaming events where individ...

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