Today (12/31/2008) Microsoft's Zune froze for its customers owning the 30 GB Ipod knock-off. We have all experienced Microsoft related technology failures, the ever infamous "blue screen of death" not withstanding. Why can't Microsoft seem to innovate well?
An annoying technological glitch reveals something deeper about Microsoft's corporate culture. McShane and Glinow write in their work Organizational Behavior, that the spirit of Microsoft captures "A tremendous work ethic; Bill Gates is always right; an us-versus-them mentality; and Bill Gates is always right.". Does anyone imagine how employees may freely share their ideas and foster an open environment of innovation?
Pascale, Millemann and Gioja's Self-Organization and the Corporation write that corporations that apply principles of self-organization can “exploit opportunities and improvise in highly advantageous ways.”
It is not surprising then that much of Microsoft's products capture the personality of its boss, Bill Gates, rather than the aggregate self-organized open environment of innovation that captures the spirit of Apple and Google.