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Sun Hyrdaulics HR Scenario

Harvard Business Case:
9-491-119
April 4, 1991

Sun Hydraulics Corporation (A and B) (Abridged)

Analyze: The case ends in 1985.

1. How would you account for the companies 10 years of successful operations and growth?
2. How do you think they will do in the future?

Solution Preview

1. How would you account for the companies 10 years of successful operations and growth?

I think the company's 10 years of growth can be attributed to two main factors: 1) That it was able to function like a small startup and 2) because people took on informal leadership roles. When a company is a startup, and has a small amount of employees it is easy for people to interact with each other on a very informal basis. Often we see startups where there is a corporate counter-culture, like we see at Sun, where they attempt to create an organization that operates quite differently, and where the focus is on innovation and shared success. This generally tends to be successful, but as we see with Sun, once you get to a certain number of people and level of growth, it becomes impossible to continue operating in the ...

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