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Hewlett Packard's Activities Outside the USA

Select a U. S. company with global operations.
1. Discuss the firm's activities outside the U.S.
2. Identify which economic concepts, such as comparative advantage, apply to your firm.
3. Explain how these economic concepts can be used to address the firmâ??s problems and opportunities?
4. Identify which economic and political policies affect your firm and explain how they impact business decisions.
5. How does your firm use technology to strategic advantage?
6. Discuss the impact of globalization on the firm. Are there any effects on its cost structure, markets, currency risk, and overall strategy? Be sure to provide a definition of globalization in your answer.

Instructor Comments: Although the assignment does not explicitly ask for it, the better papers provide a good description of the company. They clearly identify the company, its products or services, the countries where it operates, and if available, include its total annual sales.
Since this is an economics course, I pay a good deal of attention to items 2, 3 and 4 in the assignment.
Clearly identify relevant economic concepts, define them, explain them, then apply them to the company you are discussing. For instance: The lowest cost producer (or seller ) has an absolute advantage. So if you choose this concept, you will need to explain why your company is the lowest absolute cost producer (monetary costs).
If you choose comparative advantage, you will need to explain the concept. A company has a comparative advantage in activities in which they have the lowest opportunity costs. Another way of saying this is that a producerâ??s core competencies are those activities where they have a comparative advantage. Companies can choose to develop a comparative advantage in an area by investing in capital, human capital and in research and development in products and production processes. â?" That also relates to the technology question.
Better papers will include information on various countries economic and political policies and how they impact the firm discussed in the paper. â?" political risk, country risk,
There is political risk to doing business in some countries when there are conflicts, political upheavals, the breakdown of the rule of law and so on. If the company youâ??ve identified has faced these, then write about them.
Item 6 is a sort of catchall â?" useful for a summary.

Solution Preview

Select a U. S. company with global operations.
1. Discuss the firm's activities outside the U.S.
The company identified is Hewlett Packard. It specializes in developing and making computers, networking hardware, and designing software. The company sells personal computers, servers, storage devices, printers and imaging products. Its customers include households and small to medium businesses. It also markets its products through online distribution. retailers, software sellers, and other information technology vendors. The revenue in 2009 was $115 billion. It maintains its leadership position in inkjet, laser, and other printers. The most important events that have effected Hewlett Packard are the acquisition of Compaq in 2002, the acquisition of Palm during 2010 and 3PAR. Recent developments are that in August 2010 Mark Hurd Resided as CEO and in September 2010, Leo Aptheker become HP's new CEO.
The firm's activities outside the US include producing and marketing its products all around the world. Currently, Hewlett Packard operates in 170 countries and produces technologies that impact businesses and individuals around the world. The products it distributes around the world spans from handheld devices to supercomputer installations. All over the world Hewlett Packard is in the process of marketing printers, scanners, digital cameras, calculators, PDAs, servers, and workstation computers. Hewlett Packard markets hardware, software, and services to develop, design and support IT infrastructure.

2. Identify which economic concepts, ...

Solution Summary

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