Corporate Social Responsibility at HP


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Case Details:

Case Code : BECG057
Case Length : 19 Pages
Period : 1996-2005
Pub. Date : 2006
Teaching Note :Not Available
Organization : HP
Industry : Electronics - Hardware
Countries : US

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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About HP

HP was started by Stanford engineers William Hewlett and David Packard (Packard) in Palo Alto in the state of California in 1938 as an electronics instruments company. The first product manufactured by HP was a resistance capacity audio oscillator, an instrument for testing sound equipment. In the 1940s, HP's products became popular with scientists and engineers.

The company's growth was further boosted by heavy purchases that were made by the US government during the Second World War. In the 1950s, HP developed strong technological capabilities in the rapidly evolving electronics business. In 1951, HP invented the high speed frequency counter, which significantly reduced the time required to measure high frequencies.

HP's CSR initiatives began in the early 1940s, with the donation of US$ 5 to a local charity. The momentum for these initiatives was set by the company founders. Packard believed that building long-term shareholder value was not just about an organization making profits, but about the organization making a contribution to society and its people.

He further believed that this contribution would in turn lead to the growth and improved financial performance of the organization. HP entered the medical field in 1961 when it purchased Sanborn Company. In 1963, HP entered into a joint venture agreement with Yokogawa Electric Works of Japan to form Yokogawa-Hewlett-Packard.

In 1966, the company established HP Laboratories, to conduct research activities relating to new technologies and products. In the same year, HP designed its first computer for controlling some of its test-and-measurement instruments. During the 1970s, HP continued its tradition of innovation. In 1974, HP launched its first minicomputer that was based on 4K dynamic random access semiconductors (DRAMs) instead of magnetic cores. In 1977, John Young was named HP president, marking a transition from the era of founders to a new generation of professional managers. In the 1980s, HP emerged as a major player in the computer industry, offering a full range of computers from desktop machines to powerful minicomputers...

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