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3M: Profile of an Innovating Company

Harvard Business Case:
January 3, 1995

3M: Profile of an Innovating Company

Through cases based on real companies, use the knowledge of how firms with different organizational modes can operate in a given industry, the factors that favor one mode over another, and the manner in which the modes relate to shifting industry trends.

Based on the case study answer the following questions:

*What mode does 3M use?
*What is 3M's balance of the three challenges?
*How does 3M achieve variation, selection, and retention?

Solution Preview

The response addresses the queries posted in 795 words with references.

//Before start working on it, you should use the knowledge of how firms operates, which factors are in favor and which are not in favor. I am going to provide you a sample for your work. See the text below: //

3M: Profile of an Innovating Company

Operational mode of 3M

3M uses international mode of operations. The core business of 3M originates from the home base and the company advocates to expand abroad to compete with its competitors.

The company created an international division on the basis of its share of the old Durex companies. After building this original group of six subsidiaries, the company started an aggressive expansion program known as the FIDO (First In Defeats Others). These subsidiaries were small and built through self-generated and self-financed growth based on an international extension principle of "make a little, sell a little".

The parent company exerts influence on its subsidiaries through its local board, controlled products and technologies vital to the subsidiary's growth, and finally through its planning and control process.

Due to its firmly determined growth targets, 3M treats international markets as an obvious source of growth and this has consistently resulted in success for the company.

// I am giving three challenges for 3M ...