Business Case Studies, Mergers, Acquisitions and Takeovers Case Study, Hewlett-Packard,Culture Change through Acquisitions

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Mergers, Acquisitions and Takeovers Case Study

Case Title:

Hewlett-Packard: Culture Change through Acquisitions

Publication Year : 2008

Authors: Brinda.G, Bharathi S. Gopal

Industry: Engineering, Electrical and Electronics


Case Code: MAA0150B

Teaching Note: Available

Structured Assignment: Available

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Hewlett-Packard (HP) grew to be a leading technology solutions provider in the 1990s. It attributed its growth to the unique culture that the company had fostered - 'The HP Way'. Analysts and employees at HP strongly felt that the firm evolved to be one of the best performing companies in the Silicon Valley due to the management stance that the HP Way reflected. However, with changing rationale of its operating market, marketers and managers began to be skeptical about HP's efficiency to retain its market position. They anticipated that the HP Way might be a misfit to tackle aspects like, increasing competition in Silicon Valley and the expected downturn in the software industry during the late 1990s. Managers at HP felt that there is a need to alter the HP's engineer focused R&D strategy. This led to a different growth approach through mergers and acquisitions. The approach gradually led to a culture change within HP. Its inherent culture was slowly but surely getting infused into the culture of the acquired companies. HP embraced the dominant features of the acquired companies. But HP's existing employees and ex- employees resented the culture change. Employees did not want the HP Way to change as it was considered religious by them. However it remains to be seen if HP will convince its employees about the benefits of the new culture. On the other hand, time will tell, if the HP's strategy to learn through acquisitions and mergers will succeed in the long-term.

Pedagogical Objectives:

    The case study provides insights to understand and analyse -
  • The significance of organisational culture
  • Impact of organisational culture on the performance of a company
  • Effect of mergers and acquisitions on the organisational culture of a firm
  • Whether mergers and acquisitions will work for HP in long run.

Keywords : HP; Hewlett Packard; Organisation Culture; Silicon Valley; Mergers,Acquisitions,Alliances Case Study; Co-founders; Acquisitions; Mergers; innovation via absorption; HP Way; Tabblo; Voodoo; HP-Compaq merger; Compaq; Employee Satisfaction; Management By Objectives

Contents : 
HP at Cultural Crossroads with Acquisitions
Factors Supporting HP-Compaq Deal
The HP Way

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