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Cisco Systems: Developing a Human Capital Strategy

by Jennifer A. Chatman, Charles A. O'Reilly

Like many technology organizations in the late 1990s, Cisco was booming. It grew so quickly, in fact, that it was bringing in up to 1,000 new employees each month. Cisco's solution was to acquire talent by buying small firms, topping out in one year with 24 separate acquisitions. However, in 2000 the dot-com bubble burst and Cisco quickly realized that it had another human capital challenge on its hands: How to develop, rather than hire, the strategic thinkers and leaders needed for the future. This case study explores the challenges facing Mary Eckenrod, Cisco's Vice President of Worldwide Talent, in developing a new human capital strategy to identify and develop leaders from within the company--and to do this in a company with no tradition of developing people internally. How can Cisco move from a 'buy' to a 'make' human capital strategy? The lessons from this case provide a template that other organizational leaders can use in managing organizations through various stages of evolution and different types of growth. Please note: This case also has a (B) supplement available.


Pub Date: Oct 14, 2004

Discipline: Human Resource Management

Subjects: Acquisitions, Leadership, Hiring & employment, Information systems

Product #: B5600-PDF-ENG

Industry: Information systems,Information services,Information technology consulting services

Geography: Canada

Length: 15 page(s)

Berkeley Haas Case Series
Berkeley Haas Case Series The Berkeley Haas Case Series is a collection of business case studies written by faculty members at the Haas School of Business. Cases are conceived, developed, written, and published throughout the year, on subjects ranging from entrepreneurship and strategy to finance and marketing. Each case includes a teaching note for use in the classroom.


Berkeley Haas Case Series

A new collection of business case studies from Berkeley Haas

The aim of the Berkeley Haas Case Series is to incite business innovation by clarifying disruptive trends and questioning the status quo.

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