The impact of strategic implementation on the employees and contractors of the Hewlett-Packard Company
Conducted within the global corporation of the Hewlett-Packard Company, (HP),this research examines employee and contractor responses to strategic implementation. The research environment is a relatively small UK group withinthe corporation that has continuously experienced significant change as new strategies were implemented. Employee and contractor responses to three separate cycles of change are analysed together with data drawn from the wider corporation by using a psychological contract framework, semi-structured interviewing, a research diary and secondary data from the literature and electronic sources. The research is essentially qualitative but draws on quantitative data where appropriate. A case study approach within an action research paradigm is the chosen methodology to allow consideration and triangulation of multiple sources of data relevant to the natural workplace setting. The research has confirmed a change from old or original psychological contracts to new contracts where employees and contractors are more insecure in, and more cynical of, their employment. This change is perceived as a violation of their psychological contract and is causing employees and contractors to adopt a more mercenary approach to their employment with HP. The special bond between HP and its employees generated by the values and egalitarian working environment created by its founders has been broken by new leadership. Acquisition of the Compaq Computer Company has further impacted employees and contractors resulting in declining morale and increasing scepticism about its proposed benefits. Indeed the very legitimacy of the acquisition and the leadership of HP are being questioned as HP changes to a new form. According to the founders, the values established that made HP successful in its first fifty years were expected to continue for at least another fifty years. This research shows how changing these values has collectively impacted employees and contractors resulting in a major threat to the continuing existence of HP in its present form.