Bill Hewlett And Dave Packard Commerce Essay


It all started when Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard were graduated of electrical engineers from Stanford University. In 1938, they begin part-time work in a rented garage in Avenue, Palo, California with $538 (U.S.) in working capital, consisting of cash and a used drill press. They managed to produce HP's first product, the resistance-capacitance audio oscillator, used to test sound equipment which was named HP Model 200A. After which The Walt Disney Company ordered eight HP Model 200B oscillators to prepare movie theatres to show Fantasia (which gave them their kick off capital). In 1939, Bill and Dave formalize their partnership on January 1. They flip a coin to decide the company's name. In 1940, HP moves from the garage and rented buildings in Palo Alto. From there, HP continued to build its successes in various fields including microwave field, medical field, the joint venture with Japan company (Yokogawa-Hewlett-Packard (YHP) in Tokyo), invention of calculators, computers, printers research in RISC (Reduced Instruction Set Computer).Some of the interesting inventions includes the world's first go-anywhere, do-anything computer, it is designed to withstand environmental extremes, the world's first desktop scientific calculator, the HP 9100A. It is ten times faster than most machines at solving science and engineering problems. Ads call it a "personal computer." on the first documented uses of the term, the first major computer company to introduce a precision architecture based on reduced instruction set computing (RISC), making computers faster and less expensive.

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The key success for sustaining the company is because of the beliefs their top management have was translated to the employees and not because of any organized planning made beforehand. They operated on a basis of The HP WAY which is [1) The Hewlett-Packard company exists to make a technical contribution, and should only pursue opportunities consistent with this purpose; 2) The Hewlett-Packard company demands of itself and its people superior performance-profitable growth is both a means and a measure of enduring success; 3) The Hewlett-Packard company believes the best results come when you get the right people, trust them, give them freedom to find the best path to achieve objectives, and let them share in the rewards their work makes possible; 4) The Hewlett-Packard company has a responsibility to contribute directly to the well-being of the communities in which its operates; 5) Integrity, period.] The co- founder Dave Packard believes that "the fundamental basis for success in the operation of Hewlett-Packard is the job we do in satisfying the needs of our customers." One of the employee even said "HP encouraged us to innovate… We learned that our ideas should overrule any rules from the top." Besides that, Bill Hewlett (co-founder) said "The salesman… would take the customer's position with the company, and it made us realize clearly our responsibility to the customer."

Managing HP's Human Resource

In this section, we will analyze the HP's practices year 2010 and 2011 for the main company in United States which might differ from its subsidiaries and relate it with four vital management functions that is:-





Before going into the real thing, there are a few aspects that need to be noted so as to understand the document with full understanding.

Firstly, what is managing human resource? A note to take is that human resource is the most vital resource of an organization. It is not how much the capital an organization has but who the organization has. This is because humans are the ones that are lively, unique, creative & innovative. They are the ones who will be able to make a break through unlike any other resources. However, a good management will be essential to have the organization to run effectively and efficiently. Human Resource Management (HRM) is the management function concerned with getting, training, motivating, and keeping competent employees.

Secondly, to analyze and to relate is the process of breaking a complex topic or substance into smaller parts to gain a better understanding of it and then to link it up with the current topic.

Finally, the four parts of the management functions where by planning is defining the organizational purpose and ways to achieve it, organizing is the arrangement and structuring work to accomplish organizational goals, leading is directing the work activities of others and controlling is monitoring, comparing, and correcting work performance.


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HP is a renowned company that has sustained in the market since late 1930's. Planning is a vital part of management as the saying goes "If you fail to plan you plan to fail". Question is, how did HP become so successful not only in sustaining but to grow and become a giant company that is known worldwide? Well, let's leave that at that first and answer a few questions starting with what sort of planning does the human resource department of HP do?

Well, as all human resources do, their main task is of cause to plan how to maintain their most valuable asset, the employees. Then of cause the next question would be, what do they plan to maintain their employees?.The human resource of HP (based on 2011's information) planned and some improvement on Work environment, Building careers, Rewards and benefits, and Pride in HP (whereby employees in the 2011 recruitment campaign showcasing their personal stories and for employees to reaffirmed HP's commitment to volunteerism). They also did surveys whereby these surveys help them to identify their potential employees which targets to hire interns and university graduates, from a wide range of backgrounds.

Below are some of the employment policies HP designed for the employees

Our global employment policies reflect our commitment to treat all employees fairly and to promote a culture of integrity and ethical decision-making everywhere we operate. Our policies often set a more demanding standard than local laws or customs require.

Our Standards of Business Conduct (SBC) is a resource for employees and all those who represent HP. The SBC is based on our shared values and represents the highest level of guidance.

Our Best Work Environment Policy defines the standards of personal conduct that we expect employees to meet to contribute to a positive, productive work environment.

Our non discrimination policy outlines how we aim to maintain a work environment free from discrimination.

Our harassment-free work environment policy describes how we strive to achieve an environment where customers, employees, suppliers, business partners, visitors, and shareowners are treated with dignity, respect, and courtesy.

Our global citizenship policy lays out our company values of trust and respect for the individual and conducting our business with uncompromising integrity.

Our Open Door Policy reflects our commitment to open communications and a workplace where each person's voice is heard.

Our Global Human Rights Policy commits us to fair treatment of all employees wherever we operate, and to promote human rights throughout our business.

We provide employees with the ability to report policy violations anonymously, and we fully investigate all issues raised.

Besides the employment policies, they also plan some benefits for the employees such as :-

•Health and wellness plans supporting employee well-being

• Income protection insurance covering risks from injury or illness

•Retirement and savings plans helping employees secure their financial future

• Time-off programs to pursue interests outside of work

• Expanded wellness and maternity care benefits in several countries

To answer to the question, how did HP become so successful not only in sustaining but to grow and become a giant company that is known worldwide?

HP became so successful not only in sustaining but to grow and become a giant company that is known worldwide is because "HP's success has always been built on its people. They are our legacy and our future. Their talent, spirit, energy, and drive are rivalled only by their potential." Quoted from Tracy Keogh, Executive Vice President, Human Resources, HP


Leading can be in form of motivating, directing or even influencing others towards a goal.

HP since late 1930's had always been the leading edge of the technological era. You might wonder how they gathered such powerful force reaching almost 350,000 of workforce and what sort of leading does the human resource exercise?

Well, HP is not only a big company whereby everyone "mind their own business", but they are engaged with one another. Employee engagement begins with a culture that is open and collaborative. At every level of the organization they are committed to foster openness and equality that is changing our culture for the better. At company headquarters in Palo Alto, California, United States, for instance, have been taken down the walls of the executive offices in favour of an open-plan arrangement. They strive to engage people at all points, from the application and hiring process to training and developing employees to maintaining relationships with retirees after they leave HP. This is because they belief that the ability to think and act as a leader is crucial for every HP employee, regardless of role. All employees are given the opportunity to complete a self-assessment against the HP leadership standards and develop leadership skills through performance feedback, learning and training resources, or working with a coach or mentor.

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Besides that, there are also a lot of programmes that are organized in order to motivate, direct and influence employees to reach their goals. Since there are a lot of HP's employees from all over the world, HP designed Forums and networks whereby the employees exchange ideas and views, and collaborate on better ways of working, through online and in-person forums. They also have a mentoring programme for the employees where it helps to connect groups as diverse as young employees, senior women leaders, and professionals in finance, human resources, and sales with mentors in their fields. This programme also facilitates mentoring experiences through the Mentoring @ hp intranet site, which contains advice and resources for both mentors and those seeking mentors. In this way, HP is not only able to educate and train its employees but to foster better relationship between senior and junior employees of the organization.

Another good programme that HP made to further motivate and raise the morale of their employees is the Recognition programs where by it helps to appreciate the employees' efforts and achievements at all levels. It helps them to acknowledge employee accomplishments and promotes appreciation for good work especially in areas such as leadership, innovative thinking, and service excellence. They also provided instant appreciation e-cards, which enable any employee to acknowledge the contributions of others. Employees can choose from 11 card designs that express a variety of sentiments and include space to describe what the person did to help create a great result for HP. The sender may also opt to send the recipient's manager a copy to ensure they are aware of the employee's contribution.


Without proper organizing, all things are deem to failure. So what sort of arranging and structuring work does the HR needs to do in order to accomplish organizational goals?

Organizing a recruitment drive is the most fundamental part of a human resource department. In HP, they use various types of social media to connect with potential recruits, to communicate their values, and to show their commitment towards global citizenship which often play an important criteria for many jobseekers in today's context. They have web sites such as HP Careers presence on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn features content about their culture and commitment to social innovation. They even have a YouTube page which includes brand and wellness videos to educate candidates about HP's accomplishments and employee benefits.

In HP, there are lots of programmes that are arranged and structured for the employees to get more out of the text book. They are able to learn the real thing in life where by all employees the opportunities and resources to excel in their jobs and prepare for new challenges. Their global presence and networked workforce allow employees to learn from each other in many different ways and across a wide spectrum of specialties. They provide development opportunities through face-to-face training, live virtual training, and self-directed online courses. Employees also attend conferences, seminars, and training at accredited institutions, often receiving technical certifications.

Besides that, HP also purposely organize a very diverse society because they belief that "there is power in their differences". There's strength in bringing together men and women of different nations, cultures, ethnic groups, lifestyles, generations, backgrounds and skills and they consider diversity to be one of our strongest business tools. Diversity propels them from convention to invention. That's why they celebrate different perspectives and are honoured to be acknowledged themselves with awards that prove they are making a difference. They recognize contributions from their talented people from around the world and listens to them because inspired thinking can come from anyone, anywhere, anytime. Inspired thinking can connect the world. 

HP also emphasize on the health and safety from the first day of employment at HP. They provide employees with an overview of our policies and advice on preventing and responding to workplace injuries whereby employees take a required online refresher course annually. They also offer many of their training courses in multiple language so that their employees fully understand what they are studying.


Controlling is a vital and essential part of HP's human resource in order to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of the employees. In HP, the management pay attention to its employees. They will monitor their performance and study using graphs and charts on what affects the performance to drop. Employees who are unable to perform for a certain period of time are terminated. For the employees who perform well, compensations are given to the employees. For example, HP rewards those who are loyal and well performing employees with plans such as the Employee Stock Purchase Plan which enables employees to buy HP shares at a 5% discount.

Downsizing is a tragic part of controlling. HP launched a major downsizing since the year 2010 in order to overcome financial status. In 2011, it was announced that they would lay off approximately 27,000 employees, or 8 percent of its workforce. In the process of overcoming the financial status however, HP failed to perform its best in retaining high performing employees. There were several reports that show that there were approximately 1,000 of high performing employees who were terminated as well along with some low performing and moderate employees which make up a total of around 9,000.

Besides these, the human resource in HP also controls the human rights policy in HP. Human rights is so directly related to integrity and performance that they are inextricably linked. Respecting human rights is a core value at HP and is embedded in the way they do business. Investing in ethical practices while delivering financial results is a responsibility HP takes seriously. The policies are as follows:

Comply with laws and regulations where HP does business and adopt and apply international standards where laws are less stringent

Complete due diligence to avoid complicity in human rights violations

Regularly assess human rights risks, policies, and impacts and provide visibility of the results to senior executives

Provide access to independent grievance mechanisms immediately to raise concerns or identify adverse human rights impacts

Promptly investigate allegations and pursue action to mitigate any adverse human rights impacts

Promote continual improvement through capability building for our business partners, terminating relationships only as a last resort

Advance our human rights practices through a journey of cumulative progress

Report transparently on their efforts

Now to answer the following questions:-

What seem to be the most important things leading to the success of this company?

An effective and efficient management is the most important thing that leads to the success of this company. As HP is a company based on creativity and innovations, they must continue to be effective in creating and innovating new products that are suitable in this era of globalization. Thus, as a good human resource management would recruit employees who are effective and efficient in their task to benefit the company.

What do you see as the major challenges facing by this company over the next five years?

As the saying goes "the higher you climb the harder you fall" despite the good planning, structures, leading, and organizing, there is problem in controlling in HP. A good example is from the downsizing in the year 2010. There were more than a thousand that were fired without a valid reason. They were the escape goats for those who are higher in position to save them from being terminated. This is a major problem that will affect the company's reputation. It will be one of the major challenges for the company to attract high performing and capable employees because they will be thinking twice before deciding to take up any offer to join the company.


How does the HR department of HP define their purpose?

They define their purpose through their employment policies

How do they archive their purpose?

They analyze the situation using surveys, compare it with their organization goals then define their purpose to meet the current situation. After which they enforce the policies accordingly to help them achieve their purpose

How do HR department direct the work of others?

The HR department directs the works of others by leading and motivating the employees to be more effective and efficient in their job.

What sort of Arranging and structuring work does the HR needs to do in order to accomplish organizational goals

The HR department arranged all sorts of training and development programmes in order to help the employees and plans for better activities which will benefit the employees and the company.

How does the HR do Monitoring, comparing, and correcting work performance?

The HR monitors, compare and correct work performance though using tools like graphs and charts to indicate the employees performance.


This report shows the good and bad side of the practices in HP's human resource management. It shows how important to have a good management inhuman resource in order for an organization to prosper and grow. It also includes their way of planning, organizing, leading as well as controlling the human resource in their company. This report will enable its readers to learn what sort of practices should be adopted into a company and what sort of practices should be avoided in order to sustain and grow. Last but not the least, it shows the importance of having high competent, unbiased, creative and efficient employees.