LinkedIn Transformation Driven From Within

By Sarah Soule, Michael Golomb, Debra Schifrin
2013 | Case No. OB87 | Length 28 pgs.
The case discusses LinkedIn’s corporate culture in 2012-2103 and the importance the professional networking company put on maintaining that culture as it dramatically expanded in headcount domestically and internationally. LinkedIn’s leadership believed its culture was its competitive advantage. The company fostered creativity, innovation, and a collaborative and open working environment, embraced humor, and was results oriented. LinkedIn sought to hire staff who wanted to make a positive lasting impact in the world and who valued integrity. To build and grow the corporate culture, two programs were designed to inspire creativity and collaboration: 1) Hackdays, in which teams of engineers worked to find solutions to problems they found personally engaging; and 2) Incubator, in which a team could pitch a product to the executive staff and potentially get time to turn the idea into a reality. Maintaining the culture also meant that employees were given a day off every month for personal development. LinkedIn Analytics data was used to measure overall strategy and results as well as employee satisfaction; “All Hands Meetings” twice a month included fun activities and some tiebacks to the company’s culture along with reviewing the company’s operating priorities and progress; and social impact programs were given a high priority. LinkedIn aimed to hire and promote from within, and when hiring externally looked for evidence of collaboration, humor, and passion. New employees were assigned a personal mentor, and all employees were part of initiatives to help colleagues learn new skills. The company’s leadership had to figure out how it could maintain or modify these activities as it quickly grew.

Learning Objective

The objective is for students to learn how to create and grow a corporate culture that is results oriented and fosters creativity, innovation and collaboration.
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