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Becoming Hewlett PackardWhy Strategic Leadership Matters$
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Robert A. Burgelman, Webb McKinney, and Philip E. Meza

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190640446

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: December 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190640446.001.0001

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Corporate Becoming and Strategic Leadership

Corporate Becoming and Strategic Leadership

(p.3) 1 Corporate Becoming and Strategic Leadership
Becoming Hewlett Packard

Robert A. Burgelman

Oxford University Press

This chapter highlights corporate becoming, an open-ended ongoing process for which there is no grand ex ante plan possible and which unfolds through a series of transformations in the course of the strategic evolution of long-lived companies. It develops a strategic leadership framework to examine the role of successive CEOs in the process of corporate becoming. This framework involves defining the key tasks of strategic leadership; identifying four key elements of the company’s strategic leadership capability (adopting a strategic leadership regime that integrates top-down and bottom-up strategy processes; managing the often tortuous interplays between a changing corporate strategy and the existing corporate culture; balancing strategic resource allocation between fit with the existing product-market environment and evolvability in terms of the capacity to seek out new viable product-market environments) in the internal ecology of strategy-making); and maintaining constructive relationships in the dynamic interactions between the CEO and the board of directors.

Keywords:   corporate becoming, long-lived companies, strategic leadership, fit, evolvability, Hewlett Packard, CEO

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