Case | HBS Case Collection | February 2004 (Revised January 2005)

Hewlett-Packard: Culture in Changing Times

by Michael Beer, Rakesh Khurana and James Weber


HP had been a highly successful and respected company for decades. It was well known for its company culture and management practices--the HP way--which emphasized both profits and people. Changing markets, strong competitors, and the growth of its computer business, however, battered the company in the mid-1990s. To turn things around, HP hired Carly Fiorina, the first outsider to lead the company. Describes Fiorina's strategy and the impact of decisions she made with respect to the acquisition of Compaq and HR policies on HP's venerable culture and performance.

Keywords: Acquisition; Decision Choices and Conditions; Human Resources; Leading Change; Managerial Roles; Organizational Change and Adaptation; Organizational Culture; Performance Effectiveness; Adoption; Competition;


Beer, Michael, Rakesh Khurana, and James Weber. "Hewlett-Packard: Culture in Changing Times." Harvard Business School Case 404-087, February 2004. (Revised January 2005.)