Emba Answers to All Cases

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Managing the Hewlett
Packard Way
William R. Hewlett and David Packard are two organizational leaders who demonstrated a unique managerial style. They began their operation in a one-car garage in 1939 with $538 and eventually built a very successful company that now produces more than 10,000 products, such as computers, peripheral equipment, test and measuring instruments, and handheld calculators. Perhaps even better known than its products is the distinct managerial style preached and practiced at Hewlett-Packard (HP). It is known as the HP Way. ``What is the HP Way? I feel that in general terms it is the policies and actions that flow from the belief that men and women want to do a good job, a creative job, and that if they are provided the proper environment they will do so.’ Bill Hewlett,HP Co-Founder The values of the founders – who withdrew from active management in 1978 – still permeate the organization. The HP Way emphasizes honesty, a strong belief in the value of people, and customer satisfaction. The managerial style also emphasizes an open-door policy, which promotes team effort. Informality in personal relationships is illustrated by the use of first names. Management by objectives is supplemented by what is known as managing by wandering around. By strolling through the organization, top managers keep in touch with what is really going on in the company. This informal organizational climate does not mean that the organization structure has not changed. Indeed, the organizational changes in the 1980s in response to environmental changes were quite painful. However, these changes resulted in extraordinary company growth during the 1980s. 1. Is the Hewlett – Packard way of managing creating a climate in which employees are motivated to contribute to the aims of the organization? What is unique about the HP Way?

2. Would the HP managerial style work in any organization? Why, or why not? What are the conditions for such a style to work?
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