South-Western - Management  
H-P Designs Workshops to Break Post-Merger Ice
Topic Internal Environment and Culture
Key Words culture, change, employee workshops
InfoTrac Reference none
News Story

Hewlett-Packard Co. and Compaq Computer Corp. employees are participating in a new employee workshop called "Fast Start." The purpose of the workshop is to get the workers to understand each other better, and, hopefully, work together better as a result. The fight for the merger alienated H-P employees, and management recognized the need to develop a new corporate culture. H-P created a strategic change office and hired consultants to help shape the new culture.

The workshop includes exercises such as one in which H-P and Compaq workers write down the kind of sports team they feel they are most like. In another activity, employees were given a card with three personal characteristics and had to find the person who had these characteristics from a group of 20 people. The workshops also include sessions on charting out 30-90 day work goals.

The workshops are mandatory and tied to performance goals for managers.

Questions
1.

What are some reasons that employees of H-P and Compaq might be resistant to the changes taking place since the merger? How does resistance to change affect a company's ability to adapt to new conditions?

2.

How does a company's culture help it to be successful, or to fail?

Source Pui-Wing Tam, "H-P Designs Workshops to Break Post-Merger Ice," Wall Street Journal, July 10, 2002.
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