Cambridge Technology Partners-Benelux (C)
This series of cases concerns Cambridge Technology Partners (CTP), which consults on information-technology matters to global corporations and emerging dotcoms. The firm has made its name by giving clients guarantees on how much services will cost and how long a job will take. In the A case, the company is described, and the decision maker and vice president of the Benelux operations, Paul Piebinga, faces the need to grow the Benelux staff to meet the demands of its client projects. The labor market is tight in 1999, and the firm does not offer a particularly high salary or much likelihood of promotion. Piebinga recruits globally and tries to figure out how to attract young, talented, productive people who are able to work well in cultures different from their own. The A case asks the question, "What does it mean to lead in this situation?" The B case examines how managers at CTP develop a Web structure with employees moving in and out of, as opposed to up in, the organization. The company's diversity attracts employees who, even after leaving the firm, remain loyal. Despite the shortage of IT employees in the marketplace, CTP manages to grow its numbers. An article in the Economist deems CTP the top pick when considering the best blend of consulting, Web-development, and system-integration skills to help clients become e-businesses. When Piebinga decides it's time to move on and leave the company, his right-hand person, Frank Hutchingame, takes over as director of Operations. Hutchingame worked as a senior project manager for several years, and watched his boss both grow and shrink the region's workforce in response to expansion and contraction. The C case adds a twist to the firm's saga as one of the first challenges Hutchingame must meet is to reduce the work force by a third. The downturn in the economy and the firm's acquisition by Novell drive the change. But Hutchingame is determined to preserve the Web structure, diversity, and employee loyalty that Piebinga developed. As the short D case unfolds, the reader learns that Hutchingame was indeed successful in his efforts.