Hewlett Packard commonly known as HP is a multinational corporation involved in the production and distribution of information technology products and services. Founded in 1939 by two Stanford University classmates, Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard in a garage, the company had practiced a culture that incorporates employees’ wellness as a way of promoting the production of products and services with the highest quality as per the consumers’ expectations. This has enabled the company to develop from the production of audio oscillator which was the first product the company developed in a garage to the current information technology products and services that are sold globally. Through the company’s corporate culture known as ‘The HP way’ which was developed by the founders of the company, Hewlett Packard management works with respect for all humanity while promoting innovation and creativity as a way of satisfying the demand for changing technology. Meg Whitman is the current president and CEO of HP corporation.
The organization culture portrayed in Hewlett Packard is a service/clan oriented culture. The organization simply refers to their culture as ‘the HP way’ referring to the way thing are done within the company for the benefit of all the stakeholders including the management, employees, shareholders and the customer demands.. This is seen from the company’s innovative operations for new and exciting products and services that aim at satisfying the growing demand of sophisticated technology by the company’s customers. The company incorporates the work of the employees in all levels to work as a family towards achieving the common goal which is being a market leader in information technology and the team wishes to achieve this goal through employees’ teamwork and promotion of innovation and creativity as a core basis for development. This corporate culture of a family like working environment was initiated by the two founders of the company and the same slogan has been passed on to new managements for several decades. The culture encourages openness of all the employees through open and efficient communication and efficient support for the employee needs making it different from most companies who frequently use hire and fire criteria especially in times of financial crisis (HP Journal).
According to the two HP founders, individual motivation to work was the core source of success for a company hence they adopted an informal way of addressing all the employees by the first name as seen by them referred to as Bill and Dave. This was the initial way of creating a clan like working environment where all the employees and managers cared for each other’s opinions thus promoting the company core value which is the value of humanity as presented by the company’s objectives. This was also a way of creating customer loyalty through creation of enticing products and services that meet customer needs and demands (O'Donovan, 2006). Another reason for adopting the culture was to initiate an open working environment where the innovative views of all the employees are freely expressed for the benefit of the company.
The companies promotes a close working relationship between different department and different branches as a way of identifying opportunities and take advantage of the various customer demands while strengthening employee effort as the HP company president and CEO Meg Whitman notes. The ‘HP way’ culture has however revolved to incorporate the current management by objective technique which the current management has adopted as a way of ensuring production of high quality products and services to cater for the highly changing market demand.
Information technology industry is currently experiencing increased level of competition and thus, market oriented culture which is a result oriented culture could help the HP Corporation to stay at a competitive advantage through getting things done in such a way that they overdo those of the competitors. According to Kotter (1992), market oriented culture is essential in shaping an organization to overcome competition by ensuring that every employee dedicate their skills and efforts into performing their specific duties to the utmost perfection.
As a way of dealing with the decline in demand for the company’s products and services, the management of Hewlett Packard needs to re-evaluate the ways they currently use to attract and retain customer loyalty. In addition to creating products and services that meets the growing demand by the customers, the company should also form create a customer oriented culture that involves incorporating the customers to the larger company’s family through clear communication between the company and the general public (Thomas and Worley, 2004). This will ensure that the company gets to know what the customer wants in terms of services, quality and effectiveness of delivery thus creating a quick response and good relations that will promote sales of the company’s products and services. Change should also not be lectured to the responsible departments such as sales and public relations but it should be demonstrated through proper communication from top to bottom levels of management and promotion of teamwork between all the companies departments as a way of coming up with products and services that meet the consumers’ preferences.
Kotter, J. P. (1992). Corporate Culture and Performance. New York: The Free Press.
O'Donovan, G. (2006). The Corporate Culture Handbook: How to Plan, Implement and Measure a Successful Culture Change Programme, The Liffey Press.
Thomas G. & Worley, C. (2004), Organization Development and Change, 8th Ed. South-Western College Publishers.