The purpose of this paper is to discuss and evaluate some of the Organisation Development initiatives which Hewlett Packard could undertake and introduce into the organisation. As a result of its growth, HP has experienced increased bureaucracy, which has sapped innovation and reduced knowledge transfer. It has responded by splitting the company into two distinct businesses, the computing side and an 'e-services' side. It must now examine its development processes and ensure that these will assist the organisation in achieving its overall goals and strategic objectives.
For a company such as Hewlett Packard in the IT industry, being innovative is essential to its survival. Innovation is associated with new knowledge. According to Taffinder, "Innovation is achieved by harnessing knowledge to new ends, and it aids organisations seeking a defensible capability or barrier to competitors". In order for Hewlett Packard to regain its innovativeness, it will need to create a culture that stimulates, encourages and supports creative thinking. Whatever method HP utilises to achieve this cultural change should fit in with the overall Corporate Strategy of HP.
I believe that Hewlett Packard already has a culture which encourages staff to perform at their highest standard. But TQM is a continuous process, which constantly should be looking at doing things better. Hewlett Packard should continue to incorporate TQM in any future organisation development initiatives it pursues as TQM is not designed to work in isolation. By doing this, HP will be taking the first steps in trying to enhance the culture where people are constantly focused on achieving a high quality in everything they do.
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This involves HP setting standards within their businesses, and maintaining or even aiming to perform better than the expected standard. For example, in their 'E-Services' business, they may develop an internal methodology for rolling out their services to clients. This means that HP will have a framework in place which staff can follow when providing their service and can ensure that a consistent approach and standard is achieved with each and every rollout of it's services. This may encompass the development of standard documentation which must be completed throughout the project.
All of this will help to reinforce the emphasis on quality within the organisation. The Learning Organisation The idea of a Learning Organisation (LO) is seen as somewhat of a myth. That such an organisation does not exist. Even if this is true, the principles surrounding the LO can be used to help create a culture of learning, creating, gathering and sharing knowledge. "Organisations where people continually expand their capacity to create the results they truly desire, where new and expansive patterns of thinking are nurtured, where collective aspiration is set free, and where people
are continually learning to learn together" (Peter Senge, 1990) When looking at the situation in Hewlett Packard, innovation is currently suffering and there is a reduced transfer of knowledge within the organisation. Steps of innovation Innovation has several vital steps: Step 1 - the sharing of tacit knowledge. This is knowledge in people's head's. Step 2 - Once this tacit knowledge has been extracted, it can be discussed between individuals and concepts created. Step 3 - is the justification step which verifies if the concepts are truly meaningful for the organisation.
Step 4 - is the prototyping of materialised concepts and, Step 5 - being the successful transfer of the new knowledge that has been created, justified and modelled to the other organisational units so that it will benefit the wider community. In order for Hewlett Packard to become more innovative and transfer knowledge throughout the organisation, it needs to adopt the principles of the Learning Organisation approach. The characteristics of a Learning Organisation The characteristics of a Learning Organisation include four types of factor:
Learning Culture - an organisation climate which nurtures learning. Note: There is a very close similarity with those characteristics associated with innovation. Processes - processes that encourage interaction across boundaries. This includes infrastructure, development and management processes. Tools and Techniques - methods that help individual and group learning, such as creativity and problem solving techniques. Skills and Motivation - to learn and adapt. How does Hewlett Packard create a knowledge sharing culture? "People do not do what you tell them, but what you measure them for".
The HR team in HP will need to institute a system of rewards and recognition, training and performance development practices, i. e. activities that reinforce the discipline of sharing, documenting knowledge and reuse of others' ideas with pride to achieve business goals. Hewlett Packard Consulting senior management made explicit the desired behaviour of employees, in their vision statement: "Our consultants feel and act as if they have the knowledge of the entire organisation at their fingertips when they consult with customers.
We will recognise those consultants that share and those that leverage other's knowledge and experience as most valuable members of the HP team. " If Hewlett Packard adopt this approach and allow time and invest in employee development, then I would be optimistic that the organisation will see an increase in the level of innovation and knowledge sharing within the organisation. Summary There are obvious differences between TQM and LO approaches, however, there a lot of similarities and I believe that the two approaches can complement each other.
Based on this I believe that Hewlett Packard can benefit from implementing both. They could implement a 'bifocal' performance improvement strategy aiming simultaneously for short and long-term improvements and competitive advantage. Hewlett Packard should not loose sight of the importance of quality in everything that they do, after all, 'High Quality' is something that HP are known for. But what they must get back are the cultural values which was once enshrined in the 'HP way'.
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