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Cypress Semiconductor

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Concept Case Summary

Cypress Semiconductor:

A Federation of Entrepreneurs

Lisa Mongelli

        T.J. Rodgers, Cypress founder and CEO was an extremely structural leader from the very start of his professional career. Rodger’s image of leadership resembled that of a social architect, focusing on creating a system of high performance. Cypress was almost identically founded and built around the key central concepts involved in structural framework. The structural frame of any company is critical as it directly plays into the three remaining frames, as well as maintaining an efficient and effective organizational structure. The company of Cypress revolved heavily around the central concepts that make up a structural model. Rules were established, one relating to annual raises and performance management, which was part of a system they used to evaluate and motivate employees. Many detailed policies and procedures were created with step-by-step instructions. As part of the manager’s hiring process, it was an established responsibility of theirs not only to find and attract great talent, but also to specifically follow 35 steps and procedures that documented actions. As a semiconductor business, Rodgers was well aware of how demanding technology innovation was and remains. In order to develop such breakthrough technical innovations, another concept of structure, flexibility and risk taking were required factors in the industry and Cypress.

        When evaluating the effectiveness of Cypress it is described in their model how they practice three principles in which they believe are most important for operation. Some of the processes that stem from each principle involve petty details, which can be a result of ineffective leadership. Despite the pettiness and mandate ways directed from Rodgers, analyzing the organization as a whole in relation to the structural frame processes, it appears to be an effective one. Strategic planning is crucial in the manufacturing industry and throughout Cypress’s phases was constantly being adjusted to focus on the current market. In years 1992-2011 you see a couple of strategy changes that Rodgers implemented, one specifically targeting a refined structured set of processes, where objectives were set and resources were mutually coordinated. An organizational process Cypress mastered was goal setting, through its use of the “killer” software and goal system. These were two computer-based applications that not only tracked, but also aimed to improve performance. Rather than focusing on individual goals, the software focused on project goals and would shut down projects that went astray from deadlines or did not follow procedures. Such goals and implementation of software ultimately kept the organization on a steady track in the right direction. Evaluating employee performance Rodger believed was essential to the workplace. A system was designed called “focal reviews” based on the company’s philosophy, which guided managers to make accurate decisions about compensation.



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