A Culture of Innovation at 3M*



Case Code : SCHROB022
Publication date :2005
Subject : Human Resource Management
Industry : Mining and Manufacturing
Length : 7 Pages


INR 300;

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Abstract: ICMR India ICMR India ICMR India ICMR India RSS Feed

The case examines the organizational culture at 3M and the way in which it facilitated innovation at 3M. The policies and mechanisms adopted by 3M's management to encourage the spirit of innovation in its employees are also discussed. The case takes a close look at 3M's environment of innovation; the culture of knowledge sharing; and the reward system. It also discusses the steps implemented by the new CEO, James McNerney, to accelerate growth at 3M. The impact of cultural change at 3M on the spirit of innovation is also discussed.


Strategies for developing a culture of innovation in an organization and examine the influence of such a culture on its growth and leadership

Questions for Discussion:

1. Since its early years, what strategies did 3M adopt to foster a culture of innovation in the organization? How far do you attribute the success of the company to its culture?
2. The top management of 3M launched many initiatives to foster a culture of innovation in the company. Which of these initiatives proved to be critical to the company's uninterrupted success for over a hundred years?
3. Many analysts pointed out that the new initiatives implemented by 3M's new CEO James McNerney would have a negative affect on 3M's culture. Do you think the new initiatives would negatively affect 3M's culture? Justify your stand.

Key words:
organizational culture, 3M, facilitated innovation, 3M, spirit of innovation, environment, innovation, knowledge sharing, reward system, CEO, James McNerney, cultural change

*Note : This case is a simplified version of a longer case study, and is intended for learners for whom English is a foreign language. The longer version of this case study (HROB022) is available at: http://www.icmrindia.org/casestudies/catalogue/Human%20Resource%20and%20Organization%20Behavior/HROB022.htm