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HP Case Study

One of the most successful companies nowadays in the information technology and

manufacturing technology is the Hewlett Packard, popularly known as HP by most of the

individuals. This company is known for its top notch quality production of computers, printers,

cartridges, inks, etc. whereas they are considered to be among the market leaders as its scope is

very wide (Coster, 2010).

This company has been the subject of numerous public and individual criticisms because

of the known causes of the deterioration of the environment caused by the manufacturing

operations of the company. This is also similar for other manufacturing and distribution based

companies since most of their operations and procedures require the emission of the greenhouse

gases and contribute heavily on the accumulation of solid wastes. There are also instances when

the products of HP are blamed for the pollution. Also, large companies like HP require the

assistance of the fossil fuels which are drilled in most parts in the world and distributed on its

factories to make the machines therein work. As a result of which, numerous legislations are

passed globally in addition to the treaties, contracts, international agreements, and jurisprudences

involving the protection of the environment against the large companies. All of the

aforementioned aimed to limit the privileges enjoyed previously by these companies as well as to

instigate efforts for the sustainability.

In the recent past, HP jumped into the bandwagon and eventually dominating the efforts

for green marketing. This has been defined as the process in which the companies dedicate its

efforts marketing-wise to the conservation of the environment (Levinson & Horowitz, 2010).

Hence, most of the products of HP has been attributed as environmental or eco-friendly but this

efforts are criticized likewise for being a green washing while some people argue that these
efforts are authentic in the desire of the company to preserve the environmental resources for the

needs of the future generation. Such questions, doubts and criticisms hurt the reputation of the

company badly that it started diversifying more and investing more intensively in its

sustainability effort despite the cuts in their profitability. As a result of this patchwork solution,

the company regained its popularity and dominated the market since then.

It may be also said that the green marketing efforts and products as well as those leaning

towards sustainability of HP Company is the result of the pressure from the public regarding

such activities. This is due to the fact that there has been a public clamor against the engagement

of the companies in environmentally destructive activities. This is in accordance with the

environmentalist mind which was developed in the contemporary times (HP, 2009).

Environmental friendly efforts of the company include the production of HP products

which has minimal, if none at all, emission of gases which are destroy the environment. It is a

prevalent feature among the modern HP products that they possess eco-modes or eco-friendly

modes. There are also printers which has a feature of noise production which similarly minimize

the consumption of energy. Meanwhile, one of the most interesting move marketing and

environmentally wise move on the part of HP is the tweaking of the software and hardware of

the company to optimize its specification for the use of recyclable materials including ink,

cartridge, and papers. As a result of this, numerous problems in the environment are being solved

by the company including the pollution, deforestation, solid waste accumulation, emission of

greenhouse gases, etc. (HP, 2009).

In addition to this, HP is a company known for funding Non-governmental organizations

efforts in conserving the environment. This made the company considered by the business

journals as one of the most ethical in the world.


In 2004, the company has started its efforts in conserving the environment through

establishing a target of recycling billion pounds of electronics, toner, and ink cartridges (Malone,

2007). In July 2007, the company has achieved this goal and subsequently broke this record in

2010 when they doubled the amount which they recycled.

Despite all of the companys efforts in conserving the environment, like most other

companies, HP also suffer from controversies due to the unethical acts which they engage in.

This hurt its reputation as the most ethical company in the world as scandals over the bribery of

by the company to corrupt government officials of several countries in order to secure the most

lucrative of contracts. The controversy was administered on the 2nd quarter of 2014 by the

Securities and Exchange Commission to which the company acknowledge that it violated the

Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. Specific countries where the alleged corruption took place

include Russia, Poland, and Mexico where HP secured contracts from the government. The

controversy ended with HP paying US$108 Million to the SEC as fines (Kaplan, 2013).

HP is known to thrive externally when it comes to the extending of business ethics and

corporate social responsibility as it deem to affect not only the individuals in this planet but the

whole planet in itself. However, internally, there are numerous questions in the decision making

of the company most especially since there are complaints, grievances, and criticisms from the

employees itself. There seem to be problem with the implementation of the management of the

organizational behavior since its employees has very low level of culture and lacks moral values.

In fact, this is evident on the acts of its CEO itself who were fired by the company after being

involve in various anomalies which is violative of the code of conduct of the company. There are

also complaints with the attitude of the low-level employees including the customer service
representatives who are usually described as rude and disrespectful of the customers (Kaplan,

2013).

There also seem to be an unrest among its employees as it seem to be an unhappy

company. Some authors even consider HP as a reality show due to the fact that it seem to be

happy when interacting with the general public where in fact it is very dissatisfied inside

(Grundei & Zahaira, 2008). One of the manifestations of this scenario is the fact that the board

members and the executives of the company are largely divided. It is common scenario that the

company secrets are often revealed to the public and the officers betraying each other. The latter

problem is the root of the unethical or bad acts which the company undertook in when its top

executives hire private investigators to hack or spy on the mobile devices of the other employees.

The company was also involved in covering up the defects in the computer hardware

which are distributed among its products. The company opted to side with NVIDIA instead of its

consumers who suffered from the substandard and defective video card which came with the HP

products. Further, several complaints and lawsuits arise from the distribution of HP products

with defects like on its i7 processor which caused great delay on the part of its users.

However, probably the worst thing which HP allegedly does is its support on the war in

the Middle East whereas the company supply Israel with the technology to continue the conflict

in the Gaza strip against the Palestinians as well as their numerous human rights abuses.

Although, two other companies including the Caterpillar and Motorola Solutions are alleged in

the nomination for divestment in the said territories by the Presbyterian Church based in USA

(Goodstein, 2014).
Hewlett-Packard is quite popular in providing the environment with the programs to

protect the same and to ascertain the sustainability of the Earths resources for the future

environment. However, what is not popular are the unethical or bad activities which HP engage

in and are hidden from the publics eye.

Several magazines, newspapers, websites, journals, articles, etc. point to HP as one of the

most ethical companies in the world because of its heavy involvement in the CSR activities

which are expected of them in the company. Also, most of the business textbooks and the

courses curriculum require the study about HP whereas case studies about the same are required

by the teachers. The fact that the negative image of the company was hidden majorly from

laymen who will not invest time in investigating thoroughly is an evidence that the company

makes great PR relations.

Currently, it may be considered that the marketing efforts which are centered on the

environment is superb due to the fact that it generates tripartite benefits for the company, the

stakeholders, and the environment. However, numerous improvements are still required. I would

say that the company simply continue their efforts in green marketing and sustainability since it

appeals majorly to the public aside from the genuinely and sincerely intended effects of the same

on the environment and on the stakeholders. The rationale for such bold statement is the fact that

the environmental perspective dominant on the contemporary society will not disappear for the

next few decades of the lifetime of HP since the problems in the environment still continues.

Meanwhile, in order to resolve the issues of the companies in the recent past including the

corruption and privacy intrusion scandals and its alleged involvement in heinous crimes and

contribution in the conflict in the Middle East, the company must seek to solve these problems

first. It may be started by ceasing and desisting from doing the controversial acts.
References

Coster, H. (2010). The 100 Best Corporate Citizens. Forbes Magazine.


Goodstein, L. (2014) Presbyterians Vote to Divest Holdings to Pressure Israel. New York Times.
Grundey, D. & Zaharia, R.M. (2008) Sustainable incentives in marketing and strategic greening:
the cases of Lithuania and Romania. Baltic Journal on Sustainability, 14(2), 130 143
Hewlett Packard (2009). Official HP Global Citizenship Report of 2009 [pdf]. Retrieved from
http://www.hp.com/hpinfo/globalcitizenship/pdf/fy09_brochure.pdf
Kaplan, D. (2013) Suspicions and Spies in Silicon Valley. Newsweek Business.

Kotler, P. & Keller, L. K. (2012) Marketing Management. 14th ed. Pearson Education Limited.

Levinson, J.C. & Horowitz, S. (2010). Guerrilla Marketing Goes Green. John Wiley & Sons.

Malone, M. (2007) Bill & Dave: How Hewlett and Packard Built the World's Greatest Company.
Portfolio Hardcover. pp. 3941.