Case | HBS Case Collection | April 2013 (Revised October 2013)

Google's Project Oxygen: Do Managers Matter?

by David A. Garvin, Alison Berkley Wagonfeld and Liz Kind


Google's Project Oxygen started with a fundamental question raised by executives in the early 2000s: do managers matter? The topic generated a multi-year research project that ultimately led to a comprehensive program, built around eight key management attributes, designed to help Google employees become better managers. By November 2012, the program had been in place for several years, and the company could point to statistically significant improvements in managerial effectiveness and performance. Now executives were wondering: how could Google build on the success of this project, extending it to senior leaders, teams, and other constituencies while striving to create truly amazing managers?

Keywords: organizational behavior; management; leadership; business policy; general management; human resource management; Management; Leadership; Human Resources;


Garvin, David A., Alison Berkley Wagonfeld, and Liz Kind. "Google's Project Oxygen: Do Managers Matter?" Harvard Business School Case 313-110, April 2013. (Revised October 2013.)