- Organizational Culture, Values and Fit in the Workplace: Making
the Right Job Choices (HBS course materials)
- Cypress Semiconductor: A Federation of Entrepreneurs (HBS course
Khosla article about Steve Jobs
In 2011, Cypress Semiconductor was doing well. Their 2010 revenues
had grown 32 percent to $884 million, and coupled with diligent cost
reduction efforts, their profits before taxes were up nearly 23
percent. In the preceding two years Cypress had eliminated its debt
and built up a large cash position. But the semiconductor business was
a brutal one demanding both continual cost reductions and innovation.
Cypress was a comparatively small player, competing with firms like
Samsung that was more than 40 times its size. Cypress founder and CEO,
T.J. Rodgers reflected on the challenge of fighting large competitors
in a tough environment by saying, "It's all about execution because if
you haven't done what you said you were going to do it doesn't matter
if you have a good plan or not." In Rodgers' view this meant that to
be successful Cypress had to continue to be relentless in driving out
costs and be able to generate a stream of new innovations. His
solution was to manage Cypress as "a federation of entrepreneurs."
- What is culture? Is culture currently something you think about
when considering career options? What role do core values play in
- What is Cypress's hiring process, and what is your reaction to it,
as a manager and as a job candidate?
- Assess the strengths and weaknesses of Cypress's employee
evaluation and compensation systems. What are some of the day-to-day
emotions you would have at this company, and what would your
feelings be at salary review time?
- Does company culture vary by industry? Does company culture vary
by company size?
- Using specific statements from the case, summarize Cypress's main
values and goals. Are they the right goals? Do the values and goals
fit with one another? What would you do differently as CEO in order
to achieve these goals? How does Cypress's culture facilitate or
- Describe TJ Rogers's leadership. Is he a nice guy? Consider the
Vinod Khosla article. Do Rogers and Steve Jobs share similar traits?
- How successful has Cypress been over the past 3 decades? What
business factors are most important?
- Address the start-up idea. Is this a good system? What do you
think about the Strategic Marketing Group located in India?
- Is Cypress somewhere you would want to work? Why or why not?
to the worksheets in the article on values, translate your
worksheet responses to this survey.