Analysis of Experience on Organizational Changes in Hewlett-Packard

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ANALYSIS OF EXPERIENCE ON ORGANIZATIONAL CHANGES IN HEWLETT-PACKARD

Introduction

The author previously held a management role with Hewlett-Packard Philippines where he led the Global Real Estate organization. He oversaw the facilities operations and workplace services of Hewlett-Packard’s business entities in the Philippines. As head of the Global Real Estate group in the Philippines, he was responsible for the successful delivery of all real estate projects, programs and initiatives and also in-charge of stakeholder liaison with local business leaders, partners and vendors. During the author’s tenure, the company had a number of organizational changes, expansion projects and operating cost reduction initiatives. These events and activities happened in quick succession and even some overlap. According Lewin’s force field analysis model, effective change occurs by unfreezing the current situation, moving to a desired condition, and then refreezing the system so that it remains in this desired state (McShane, 2007). However, in the case of Hewlett-Packard where regular swift and sometimes overlapping changes happened, ‘making further change’ would be more appropriate rather than refreeze. The frequent changes affected the growth momentum for the Philippine operations; employee turnover was continuously rising because of the confusion and disarray.

Positive Indicators Prior to Organizational Changes

Hewlett-Packard has grown tremendously in the Philippines beginning 1994, primarily because the country has been identified as a global technology services hub. As a services hub, work assigned in the Philippines includes the out-sourcing and off-shoring of the company’s internal business processes, supply chain support and technology support for enterprise clients. Riding with the outstanding growth of the outsourcing services industry in the Philippines, from less than 100 employees dealing with the sales and marketing of printers and computers, the workforce grew to 6,000 full-time employees by the end of 2010. A grand plan was also revealed that continued growth was in the pipe-line and employee count will reach 15,000 by year 2014. In September 2010 during the visit of Philippine President Aquino to Hewlett-Packard’s headquarters in the United States, the company committed to increase its long term investments in the Philippines to support its continued growth (The Philippine Star, 2010). The positive indicators poised excellent growth opportunities and the company started to plan to support the developments: attracting the best talent, shoring-up organizational support and planning of real estate requirements.

Leadership Changes

In just a span of 14 months (from August 2010 to September 2011), the company had three CEO changes and had announced 20 major organizational change announcements. Buchanan & Huczynski (2010) discussed leadership changes as an organizational intervention with ‘penetrating depth’. In every leadership change, the new CEO or senior leader is expected to bring his own bundle of strategic initiatives to the company. The last 3 CEOs made decisions that affected the consumer confidence, investor sentiments and affected the bottom line of the company. The first CEO lead Hewlett-Packard to excellent achievements: the company was recognized as the largest technology company in the world in terms of revenue; and the first technology company to reach the US$100-billion annual revenue mark. He supported growing the technology services business which had direct growth impact to the Philippines. He was regrettably dismissed by the company because of an unproven ethics case with a contractor. The second CEO, who served for less than 11 months, focused on strategy in growing the software business. He also announced plans to sell the company’s profitable personal computer business (Hewlett-Packard is the world’s largest PC maker). His announcement enraged...
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