TechTarget Inc. is an online information technology interactive media company based in Needham, Massachusetts that employs 210
TechTarget Inc. is an online information technology interactive media company based in Needham, Massachusetts that employs 210 staff. Founded in 1999, it became a public $100 million company in 2007, and now provides products to over 1,000 advertisers including Cisco, Dell, EMC, HP, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, and SAP. Its co-founder and Chief Executive Officer is Greg Strakosch. What is distinctive about this organization is that it has an 'open leave' policy. There are no set policies or rules concerning staff working hours or specifying sick or personal holidays. If you want to work between midnight and 6 a.m., that's OK. If you want to take a day off to take your family to the seaside, that's OK too. However, the company is not a holiday camp. TechTarget is an entirely resultsoriented business. Managers set quarterly goals and timetables, and employees are measured by their contribution to the company and the results that they achieve. They are given a great deal of freedom to accomplish these but, in exchange for this flexibility, employees are expected to remain in close contact with their managers via email, cellphone, instant messaging and laptops. The company says that it enthusiastically rewards performance with greater opportunity, compensation, and recognition. While the hours are flexible, employees can put in 50 hours in some weeks. However, at other times, staff use their time to study or to travel. The company employs 25 mothers with children under 10, who find the working arrangements ideal. The management team set high performance expectations, and have little tolerance for failure. Despite a painstaking hiring process that weeds out all but the most autonomous applicants, 7 per cent of the workforce were dismissed in the last twelve months. 'We don't carry people who underachieve', said Strakosch. Other employees have been fired for abusing the policy.
The company's success is based on hiring a team of smart, self-motivated, enthusiastic, ambitious, hard-working people and giving them autonomy and flexibility while holding them accountable for their results. It is a fast-paced, stimulating work environment that fosters teamwork. Its entrepreneurial culture encourages innovation and rewards individual achievement. The company seeks to provide its employees with satisfying careers and an environment that enables them to achieve a work-life balance. Strakosch is quoted as saying 'I detest bureaucracy and silly policies'. In the middle of 2008 TechTarget was recognized as one of the best places to work by a local business journal, but at the end of the year it was planning to make 76 of its staff redundant.
1. Form groups. Read the case TechTarget.
(a) How would you describe the organization structure of this company?
(b) Why does it work at TechTarget?
(c) Could this structure be applied in other organizations?
(d) Strakosch claims that he ‘detests bureaucracy’ and seems to think that he has eradicated it with his ‘open leave’ policy. Identify Weber’s six characteristics of bureaucracy that are likely to be applied in TechTarget.
(e) Would you like to work at TechTarget?
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