Leadership Styles Between Google and Ryanair

Comparative Study On The Behaviour And Characteristics Of Leadership In Google And Ryanair

In the present era, approaches and methods employed by the managerial level people plays crucial role in carrying out the operations of business in successful manner. However, every company is making valiant efforts to execute operations in reliable manner so that they can attain long term sustainability. In the current study, researcher focuses on comparing the behaviour and characteristics of leadership in two different organisations operating in two different sectors (Bass and Stogdill, 2010). Further, researcher undertakes secondary analysis to carry out the entire course of study in which data is collected from different secondary sources regarding both the companies and accordingly evidence are presented. Lastly, with the help of implementation plan various aspects has been addressed on the basis of which recommendation is provided to enhance the performance of business and attain long term sustainability.


Google Inc. is an American Multinational Technology Company which specializes in internet related products and services and headquartered at Googleplex, Mountain View, California, US. The major operations of the firm consist of online advertising technologies, search engine, cloud computing and software (Goleman, Boyatzis and McKee, 2013). Company generates its maximum profits through the means of Adwords which is an online advertising service that focuses on placing advertising near the list of searches. However, it was founded by two of the greats: Larry page and Sergey Brin as a privately owned organisation in 1998.

The main aim of Google is to accumulate the information from around the world and make it universally accessible and useful. The growth of Google can be seen through the means of their incorporation with chain of products, acquisition and partnerships beyond Google core search engines. Till the third quarter of 2015, company has around 59976 skilled employees with the help of which it is generating the revenue of US$66.001 billion (Greem, 2015). It is a subsidiary and the leading company in its industry which consist of internet, computer software, telecommunications and equipment’s. The main purpose behind operating all around the globe is that it helps in gathering wide range of information and make access for every individual in the universe.


Ryanair Ltd is a low cost airline company headquartered in Swords, Dublin, Ireland. Airline Company has its primary operational bases at Dublin and London Stansted Airports. It was founded in 1985 by Christopher Ryan, Liam Lonergan and Tony Ryan. Further, company has grown form single aircraft family operations into one of the world’s leading airlines. However, in 2013 Ryanair Ltd was considered as the largest European airline by scheduled passengers as well as was the busiest international airline by passenger numbers (Bolman and Deal, 2011). The main purpose of company’s existence is to offer first class punctuality, near perfect baggage handling and innovative services at low cost prices.

At present, Ryanair Ltd is considered as the largest European low fare airline or as the company like to call itself “Europe’s only ultra-low cost carrier. Looking at the present functioning, the presence of Ryanair Ltd can be seen in 29 countries across Europe and North Africa with 180 airports. Employing more than 9000 employees so that top level management can carry out its business operations in effective and efficient manner (Synder, 2015). However, the management of Ryanair Ltd believes that company’s operating costs is among the lowest of any European scheduled passenger airline which is due to the fact that its employees are making lots of efforts to satisfy varied expectations of customers in effective and efficient manner.

Rationale of the study

In the present study, researcher is focusing on comparing the management and leadership behaviour and characteristics of Google and Ryanair Ltd so that gaps between both the firms’ strategic approaches can be identified and accordingly potential measures can be employed to enhance the functioning. Herein, researcher aims at identifying and evaluating the approaches indulged by the top level management of both firms as one is leading company in online advertising and the other one is best airline with low cost fairs. But as compared the companies to each other it can be said that Google is a successful company and Ryanair is struggling (Aaker and Joachimsthaler, 2012). Therefore, through the means of this study investigator illustrates the management and leadership approaches undertaken by Google as well as Ryanair so that gaps can be identified and accordingly future strategies can be stated. The main aim of researcher behind conducting this study is that, it will enhance the knowledge and skills regarding management and leadership approaches used by such a giant enterprises as well as in-depth analysis of both the firm will assist in developing proper knowledge base for the future. Furthermore, this study is important from management point of view, as because operating in such a competitive environment it is important for the managerial level people of both the firm to undertake suitable and smart approaches so as to carry out operations in effective manner (DePree 2011 Spillane, 2012).


The main purpose of this study is to carry out a comparative study on the behaviour and characteristics of leadership in Google and Ryanair. However, looking at the present condition of market it is important for both firms irrespective to their sectors to ensure better management so that operations can be carried out in suitable and reliable manner.

Main Body Of The Report

Considering the present situation it is important for the companies operating in it to manage and maintain each and every aspects of business so that desired results and outcomes can be generated. Herein, the major problem for which researcher is carrying out this study is about the loopholes and issues in the management and leadership faced by the companies. The main purpose behind analysing this problem statement is that, leadership is one of the major aspects in the functioning of a business and if it is not carried out in effective and suitable manner than it may leads adverse results and outcomes (Ward, 2011). Looking at the competitive environment it is essential for the managers to undertake suitable and reliable management and leadership approaches so that execution of business activities can be carried out in the best possible manner. Google Inc. is the leading organisation in its sector and its credit is always given to the type of management and leadership approaches incorporated by the senior authority so that expectations and needs of external and internal corporate environment can be met in appropriate way. While on the other hand, Ryanair management always focuses on the aggressive strategy of cost reduction and higher ancillary revenues which indeed resulted in affecting the environment of the company at the initial stages (Hargreaves and Fink, 2012). However, it has started paying off now but in order to maintain long term sustainability it is important for the management level people undertake firm and feasible steps.

According to Herman (2011),  leadership can be defined as the ability of individual or organisation to lead the team or guide the employees to carry out operations or tasks in effective and efficient manner. While supporting to this Jackson and Parry (2011) states that, leadership is the art of getting things done through others in the best possible manner. Herein, researcher focuses understanding the leadership approaches and methods undertaken by senior authority of Google and Ryanair to carry out the operations in effective way and generating desired results and outcomes.

In this context,  Beck and Cowan (2014) illustrates in their article that, the academic origin of the founders and their own leanings of independent thinking assisted their course in encouraging employees to innovate and perform new ways to achieve the targets. Further, leadership style especially in empowering their employees and encouraging them to come up with innovative ideas and implement them. In this context, researcher evaluated from the annual report of Google Inc (Daft, 2014). that company has the policy to recruit only class A employees and provide them suitable environment and platform to exercise their creativity.

Further in the study of Chhokar, Brodbeck and House, Eds., (2013) researcher identified that, Google Inc. provides generous rewards and awards for implementing innovative ideas so that services of the company can be improved in effective way. Senior authority always concentrates on time allocation of employees and according to them it should be allocated in this manner: 70-20-10 in which 70% of the time, employees should be devoted towards Google’s core business of search and advertising. While 20% should towards off budget projects related to the core business and 10% should be used in pursuing ideas based on interest and competencies (Garrow, 2015). Similar to this, journal of  Neck and Manz (2010) highlights that, leadership at Google empowers its employees to make decision regarding new strategy or product. However, the main purpose behind doing this is that, it creates platform for the employees to express their views and thoughts as well as encourage them to bring innovation with their approaches so that best possible and fittest product may reach the table. Further, Google’s most popular products and strategies came into the market with the help of this process only as illustrated by developing Gmail by Paul Buchheit or the informal motto of the company (Don’t be evil) was coined by Buchheit and Amit Patel (Whitmore, 2010).

According to the article of Unruh (2015), companies who are looking for a leadership role model should consider Larry Page co-founder of Google. Further author illustrated that, Larry was announced as the business person of the year by Fortune. However, Larry always concentrating on the fact that, empowering the team will assist in managing work and operations in effective and efficient manner. As stated by Larry Page, ideally if company have more people and more resources do more things or more problem get solved this is what philosophy that companies owner’s uses.

While on other hand, the leadership style of Michael O’Leary the CEO of Ryanair always generates desired results and outcomes. However, success of company appears to be what Michael inputs in it. Despite of having autocratic leadership style, he is leading Ryanair in effective manner which indeed leads to generate best possible outcomes. Further, as the leadership approaches used by CEO are famous in terms of rude towards passengers with disabilities his staff and regulators (Zhang and Bartol, 2010). Along with this, owner is considered as the anti-hero to the firm but always leading in appropriate way that generates feasible and suitable results for the firm.  Jaworski and Seng (2011) state that, there are several business disciplines that Ryanair undertakes in order to carry out business operations in more systematic manner such as strategic vision of providing low cost fairs to the customers so that they move easily from one of Europe to another.

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Leadership is regarded as one of the crucial topic in today's dynamic business world. The company like Google and Ryanair are both successful businesses within their industry. In accordance with the views of author it has been examined that role of leadership greatly contributes towards success of the firm. It has been determined that Goggle is more successful in comparison with Ryanair which is one of the struggling business. In case of Goggle leadership role model plays an important role in making it a successful organization (Lieberman and Miller, 2011). It has been determined that CEO of Goggle possess the traits such as he is intelligent and creative. Further he has quality of being driven, ambitious and collaborative. As per the views of author it has been determined that the following traits has resulted in creating innovative approach to work. Thus when the entire team works towards the direction of such team leader then this results in attainment of business targets. Further this sets unique position of the company before market for long run course of time. The major leadership lesson behind the success of Google is that it plays offense. Along with this it is expanding its position in an effective manner. The firm might have managed to make decision to stay solely focused on search but they have foresighted to move ahead of certainty (Chemers, 2014). Author asserts that Google has emerged and maintained its position as dominant search platform but they have also leveraged their offensive mindset to gain dominant position outside search as well. It has been determined that Google has gained greater attention and commendation for its unusual organization culture. This is developed with the aim to encourage both loyalty as well as creativity. The firm has developed several products through emphasis on innovation. This has resulted in increasing popularity of the firm in the market.

From the analysis of author's view it has been analysed that leadership plays an essential role in satisfying the employee’s morale towards carrying out work to the fullest zeal. This is the major reason due to which Google has gained huge success. The company follows democratic approach under which each person can effectively present ideas before the top management. Further the decision making is done through participation of all (Anderson and Anderson, 2010). This results in motivating the personnel and result in attaining desired goals of the firm. As per the views of author the CEO of Google Larry Page has been inspiration for its employees due to the leadership style he possess. He looks towards technological aspect in increasing the demand for the product in the market. For most of Google's history and particularly in the recent years Google has adopted laissez faire policy in relation to leadership. In accordance with the views of author it has been gained that the firm recruited smart engineers, promoted brilliant people on leadership position (Frohlich and Oppenheimer, 2015).  From the analysis it has been gained that the qualities of leadership that has made Google attain unique position include good coach, listening to team ideas, result oriented and possess technical skills. In addition to this the leaders also empower interest within the team, acts as good communicator and assist the employees in their career development.

In contrast to this it has been determined that Ryanair is less successful business as compared to Google. This is because of reason that leadership style in this organization is autocratic. In accordance with the views of author it has been gained that CEO of Ryanair Michael O’Leary is rude to passengers having disabilities his staff as well as regulator. The leadership model adopted by him is clever in terms that he is risk taker while making day to day decisions (Bass and Stogdill, 2010). On the contrary author asserts that the decision made by him in relation to low cost strategy has assisted the firm in surviving the market for long run. There is presence of less motivation among the employee but still the company is able to attain its objective through the strategy that has been developed by CEO. There is unusual leadership style followed by the leader which has resulted in increasing the survival of the firm (Goleman, Boyatzis and McKee, 2013). Both Google and Ryanair are going successful in their field but the approach to leadership in both the cases in different. This has put Google ahead of Ryanair in terms of attaining unique position in the market. It has been determined that Ryanair put the decision on the employees which affects the motivation level of the personnel. This has affected the productivity of the firm to a significant level. In accordance with the views of author it has been determined that approach to leadership determines the extent to which the business can attain competitive advantage in the market (Greem, 2015). There are very approach to leadership which possess both pros and cons. It has gained from the viewpoints of author that leadership can be autocratic, participative as well as consultative. Google has increased usage of participative style in order to gain success for longer term as such it keep involving its employees in the process of decision making. But in contrast to this Ryanair feels that being autocratic in nature assist them in attaining success for long run course of time (Bolman and Deal, 2011)(Synder, 2015). This is because the decisions developed by the leader has assisted company in gaining sound position in the market. Moreover it has acted as an aid for the firm in increasing its profitability and sales to a greater extent. With this the firm is able to survive in the market for greater span. But due to autocratic leadership style the firm is still struggling one. From the viewpoints of author it can asserted that type of style possessed by leader significantly affects the existence of the business in long run course of time. It is important for the business to examine such leadership style that can help business in attaining success (Aaker and Joachimsthaler, 2012). Such determination can be made through involvement of the personnel in the process of decision making.

Implementation Plan

On the basis of above study, various aspects related to business functioning of both firms has been identified. However, there are clear differentiation between the approaches of both the firms which defines their success and failures. Management and leadership approaches plays crucial role for the managers as they are able to conduct or execute the activities or operations of business in effective and efficient manner (DePree 2011 Spillane, 2012).

There are several modern approaches to management which can be used by management of both firms so that innovation and creativity can be encouraged as well as low cost fares can be offered to the customers. However, on the view point of Jackson and Parry (2011), the modern business ideologists have recognized the social responsibilities of business operations and strategic thinking on similar lines. Furthermore, these management theories focuses on the development of each factor of workers and organisation. The main purpose of these theories is to make the use of systematic mathematical techniques in the system which assist in analysing and understanding the inter-relationship between management and workers (Ward, 2011). There are three different modern approaches to management that can be used by the senior authority of Google and Ryanair in order to enhance the decision making and attaining desired results and outcomes in such a competitive working environment.

Firstly, quantitative approach is one the modern method that are used by management of different organisation to make corrective and precise decisions regarding future contingency. However, quantitative approach is also known as operation research. This method emphasis on statistical model and systematic mathematical techniques to solve the complex management problems. It helps the top level management in making effective decisions regarding the operations of business (Hargreaves and Fink, 2012). Along with this, quantitative approach to can also help in providing alternatives based on the statistical data so that corrective and smart decision can be made by the managerial level people. In context to Google Inc. operating in such a competitive environment and at such large level it is important to manage the activities and functioning of business in reliable manner. Therefore, undertaking quantitative approach will help in the course of providing suitable guidance to the managers for making best possible strategic decisions so that desired results and outcomes can be generated (Frohlich and Oppenheimer,2015) . With wide range of portfolios offered by Google it is essential to understand the position of each and accordingly makes decisions therefore, with the help of quantitative approach to management, different alternatives will assist in making smart judgement.

Secondly, system approach which came into existence in 1960s. However, a system can be defined as the set of regularly interacting or inter-dependent components that create as a whole unit. The system approach undertakes the view point that a company is really interconnected group of system which should work together to generate desired results and outcomes. Therefore, considering the fact that, Ryanair is executed with the autocratic approach of leadership which is indeed appropriate because company is having successful in the recent past (Herman, 2011). But in context to the long term aspects, autocratic may possess differences in various departments of the firm and may lead to negative results. In this regard, managerial level people of Ryanair should consider system approach to management because with the help of this they will be able to understand that all departments are interlinked to each other and for attaining the aim and objectives each need to be carried out in effective manner. Therefore, system approach could be used as the modern approach to management by the CEO of the Ryanair.

Thirdly, contingency approach is known as the situation approach. It is considered as one of the key to effective management. Nowadays, there are several companies which are using this approach to carry out their operations. The main purpose of this approach is that it accepts the dynamics and complexities of the organisation structure. As per the view point of various authors, an organisation is affected by the environment in which it operates. This environment consists of physical resources, climate, persons, culture, economic and market conditions and their laws (Anderson and Anderson, 2010) . According to this approach there is no perfect way to handle the problems of the business. As the actions of managerial level people totally depends on the situation. Therefore, this approach shows that, decisions and actions of the managers highly depends upon the situation rather than the core principles of the management. This approach could be fruitful for both organisations as they are operating in such a competitive environment it becomes crucial to modify and enhance the performance of business so that desired corporate aim and objectives can be achieved.

Apart from management approaches, there are several other skills and attributes that managers of operating in both the firms should possess such as time management skills, conflict management skills, communication skills etc (Beck and Cowan, 2014). so that management level people can easily communicate with the subordinates and carry out operations in more reliable and suitable manner.

Firstly, conflict management skills, being a manager to such a giant corporation this is one of the most crucial skills that manager should possess. However, working in such a complex and competitive environment, conflict management skills helps in carrying the team or employees in better and effective way as well as provide them right direction to carry out the work and achieve the business aims and objectives effectively (Chemers, 2014). In case of Ryanair where employees are not offered any platform to share their point of view and ideas may create conflict situation in different department therefore, top level management of cited firm should possess this skills so that they satisfy the needs and wants of internal and external stakeholders in appropriate way. In addition to that the conflict management skills plays important role in order to manage peaceful work environment within organization. In the case Google, it is a global multinational brand so as business entity is managing the employees from different culture and nationality (Daft, 2014). In the context, conflict management skills of employees are playing important role for resolving various issues that are occurred among employees due to cultural indifferences. For handling various issues among employees related to work, appropriate conflict resolution skills of managers provide significant assistance for identification of reason of conflicts along with the development of appropriate judgement. It avoids injustice within organization. It also supports managers within in Google to increase productivity and efficiency of staff member by reducing stress level (Lieberman  and Miller, 2011) . Therefore, it can be stated that conflict management skills of managers is playing most crucial role for ensuring peaceful relationship among different employees. It helps in application of different approaches associated with stress management.

Secondly, time management skill is identified as most important characteristics of a managers within an multinational organization. This is because it helps managers in planning of various activities associated with the job roles and responsibilities of a manager (Zhang and Bartol, 2010). In the context of Ryanair, managers have to develop various policies for handling different operations of Airline Company. Therefore, the time management skills of managers within Airline Company helps managers in scheduling of duties and tasks of employees. It also supports managers in scheduling of day to day operations and arrangement of meetings with superiors and subordinates. In the dynamic workplace like Google, time management skills of managers is playing most curial role. This is because it provides significant assistance to manager in identification of priorities and urgency so as manager is able to schedule his activities along with the tasks of subordinates that lead positive impact on the overall efficiency of managers along with delays (Jaworski and Seng, 2011).  Furthermore, it has been found that if a manager does not have efficient skills for handling various operations as per the schedule then manager who is working in Google would address several issues associated with completion of different tasks as per the predetermined schedule.

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Finally, communication skills of managers determines ability of an individual for conveying the message to others. It could be verbal and written. In the case of Ryanair, communication skills of managers is termed as most important element because it helps manager for managing conversation with consumers and subordinates. In similar way, managers of Google are able to communicate with staff or other stakeholders with a most efficient manner.


From the above study it can be concluded that leaders are the backbone of every business. They are being responsible for assuring long term success within the organization. They have the capability to provide right kind of motivation to the employees so that they can drive on the path of innovation. They can offer great contribution in the achievement of goals and objectives. The aim of the study was to compare the Leadership Styles used in two different sector companies named Ryanair and Google. On the basis of above study, various aspects related to business functioning of both firms has been identified. After performing a thorough research it can be concluded that both the companies are using different approaches of leadership. Ryanair has adopted autocratic style of leadership because it suits the nature of the industry in which it is operating. Hospitality industry is a very dynamic industry and needs high level of concentration on the level of services. It requires leaders who give theleadership-styles right direction and those who can maintain a complete control over all the operational levels. However the style has many drawbacks also as it can lead to demotivation and anger among the employees. The style needs to be adopted with adequate control. Within the Ryanair employees are not offered any platform to share their point of view and ideas. Despite of that, the CEO of the airline is leading the organization in effective manner.

On the other side Google believes in adopting democratic style of leadership. This style is more appropriate for the organization because Google believes in innovation and novelty. These two things can emerge only when employees are engaged in the decision making process and are being asked for their suggestions. This approach aids in development of solutions which are very innovative. Google has always been a symbol of invention and this leadership style matches with the nature of its business. For instance it provides generous rewards and awards for implementing innovative ideas so that services of the company can be improved in effective way .However this style of leadership has also many drawbacks as it can lead to issues like loss of control, loss of discipline etc. Above all it can be said that leadership style is to be selected according the requirements of the condition.

The characteristics of the leaders are to be something which are exceptional and which are applicable in every situation. His traits makes an influence on the minds of the subordinates. He must have the ability to get the things done from other with perfection.  A company cannot achieve success without the contribution of leaders and managers. These people holds the responsibility to take the company to heights. They also contributes in enhancing the sales and profitability of the business. Employees are the assets and they have to be treated like that. They should be rewarded for their efforts in terms of both monetary and non-monetary. These things motivate them to get inspire and to perform even better.


  • Bass, B.M. and Stogdill, R.M., 2010. Handbook of leadership. New York: Free Press.
  • Beck, D.E. and Cowan, C., 2014. Spiral dynamics: Mastering values, leadership and change. John Wiley & Sons.
  • Bolman, L.G. and Deal, T.E., 2011. Reframing organizations: Artistry, choice and leadership. John Wiley & Sons.
  • Chemers, M., 2014. An integrative theory of leadership. Psychology Press.
  • Chhokar, J.S., Brodbeck, F.C. and House, R.J. eds., 2013. Culture and leadership across the world: The GLOBE book of in-depth studies of 25 societies. Routledge.
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