Built to Become: HP's History of Becoming - 1939-2016: An Integral Process Overview

Built to Become: HP's History of Becoming - 1939-2016: An Integral Process Overview

January 2016Working Paper No. 3273

This paper conceptualizes HP’s history of becoming between 1939 and 2015 in terms of an integral process overview encompassing seven distinct epochs and associated corporate transformations, and discusses the differential contributions of successive CEOs to that integral process. The paper examines how the strategic leadership of successive CEOs has mediated the interplays between external context dynamics manifest in the company’s evolving industry ecosystem and the internal ecology of strategy-making. Analysis of the messy process of corporate becoming highlights the paradox of corporate becoming, the evolution of the adaptive capacity of multibusiness firms in relation to evolving strategic integration challenges, the role of tension in the internal ecology of strategy-making, and the existential situation facing successive CEOs of long-lived companies.