The Memetic Mapping and Genealogy of Google’s Organizational Culture

Document Type : Research Article


1 PhD Student, Faculty of Management & Accounting, Allameh Tabataba’i University, Tehran, Iran

2 Associate Professor, Faculty of Management & Accounting, Allameh Tabataba’i University, Tehran, Iran


The memetic mapping is a method to identify memes and categorize them in the form of a multilevel model. Meme is a reproducible cultural element and has been adapted from the concept of gene in the evolutionary biology. The purpose of this study was to describe the current culture of Google using memetic mapping. To this end, the printed and online texts published about Google were coded for memes. This way, 134 memes were extracted and reduced to 40 Memecules (a higher unit comprised of several related memes). Memecules were placed into 6 levels of organizational culture, namely fundamental assumptions, values, norms, artifacts, work procedures, and human resources procedures. Then, in order to understand the formation of Google’s culture in the course of history, cultural genealogy method was applied. In this approach, the father of each meme (the culture from which the meme is adopted) is identified, and then the children are connected to their parents with an arrow. The outcome is a cultural genealogy model in shape of a family tree graph. In this study, 85 Greek and Indian cultures with impacts on the emergence of Google’s culture were recognized and analyzed. This study successfully operationalized the meme concept and employed it in an empirical research. Memetic mapping is a powerful tool available for managers, consultants, and organizational researchers to explore the cultural phenomenon and to change it. Memetic engineering is capable of diagnosing and correcting a defective meme in a human community.


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