3M: Profile of an Innovating Company

  • Reference: HBS-310S20

  • Geographic Setting: United States

  • Publication Date: Aug 15, 6

  • Source: HBSP (USA)

  • Type of Document: Case

  • Industry Setting: Computers & electronics

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Traces the birth and development of 3M Corp., focusing in particular on the origins of its entrepreneurially-based ability to innovate. In particular, it highlights the role of CEO William L. McKnight in creating a unique set of values, policies, and structures to nurture and develop continuous renewal. With the changing environment of the 1980s, however, a new generation of CEOs begin to adopt new policies and change the cultural norms that helped 3M grow. The trigger issue focuses on what other changes are required.


Business policy Change management Competitive advantage Corporate strategy Innovation Leadership Organizational change Organizational culture