Students at Texas Tech University honor the school’s southwest heritage by throwing torillas at sporting events.
Instead of measuring results (as in outcome control) or dictating behavior (as in behavioral control), clan control is an informal type of control. Specifically, clan control relies on shared traditions, expectations, values, and norms to lead people to work toward the good of their organization (Table 9.8 “Clan Controls”). Clan control is often used heavily in settings where creativity is vital, such as many high-tech businesses. In these companies, output is tough to dictate, and many rules are not appropriate. The creativity of a research scientist would be likely to be stifled, for example, if she were given a quota of patents that she must meet each year (output control) or if a strict dress code were enforced (behavioral control).
Google is a firm that relies on clan control to be successful. Employees are permitted to spend 20 percent of their workweek on their own innovative projects. The company offers an ‘‘ideas mailing list’’ for employees to submit new ideas and to comment on others’ ideas. Google executives routinely make themselves available two to three times per week for employees to visit with them to present their ideas. These informal meetings have generated a number of innovations, including personalized home pages and Google News, which might otherwise have never been adopted.
9.4 Creating Organizational Control Systems 302
As part of the team-building effort at Google, new employees are known as Noogles and are given a propeller hat to wear.
Wikimedia Commons – CC BY-SA 3.0.
Some executives look to clan control to improve the performance of struggling organizations. In 2005, Florida officials became fed up with complaints about surly clerks within the state’s driver’s license offices. The solution was to look for help with training employees from two companies that are well-known for friendly, engaged employees and excellent customer service. The first was The Walt Disney Company, which offers world-famous