The 3M Company (A): Integrating Europe

Published 01 Jan 1994
Reference 4317
Region Europe
Length 31 page(s)
Prizes & Awards

Winner of 1996 European Case Awards, Human Resource Management / Organisational Behaviour Category


This two part case series presents the reorganisation of 3M's European operations in 1992 from a strong, autonomous country structure to a pan-European product line structure matrixed with a regional structure. The cases describe the transition, and the resulting rewards and the challenges, in the context of 3M's unique culture and processes, which have made the American multinational corporation a benchmark in innovation.

Teaching objectives

This case series permits the exploration of the strengths and weaknesses of an entrepreneurial corporation in undertaking and managing change, as well as some of the more delicate complexities in transitioning organisational direction and process within such corporations. Additionally, the cases sensitize the student to the challenges a company faces in serving the evolving, integrated market of Europe. These cases are appropriate for either an MBA or executive audience.