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Analysis of Management of Technology and Innovation at 3m

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Analysis of Management of Technology and Innovation at 3M

Jorge Baistra

Chia Hao Chang

Traci Kessler

University of the Incarnate Word


Creativity, innovation and technology are the words that for more than one hundred years have defined 3M. Through the analysis of technology managing a clear 3M identified and successful operation of this process. During the analysis highlighted an excellent innovation management based on continuous research and development projects that the organization has allocated around 10% of its sales revenue. Remember also that these projects have emerged from the timely identification of customer needs, always aligned with the mission of 3M to "create the future". As for the transfer of technology, 3M has implemented several methods such as licensing agreements, technological cooperation, and virtual forums, among others. Additionally it should be noted that the process of technology transfer identified in 3M is bidirectional and allows interaction between internal and external environments of the company through licensing, technology cooperation, technical assistance, among other instruments used. Another interesting aspect is identified technological change management, supported by a culture of innovation, policy making products obsolete before competitors can imitate the technological assimilation and excellent. The latter has been promoted through a flat organizational structure and Human Resources focused on attracting people with the necessary skills to adapt to changing technology. As a result of the above, 3M has been maintained for over a hundred years in the market and has been recognized as a leader in innovation.

Innovation and Technology Management

Technology management is a process based on policies, strategies, decisions and actions related to the creation, dissemination and use of technology to add value to organizations and act as an enabler of processes. In every organization applies a formal or informal policy model and technology management to set a precedent to be more competitive and have differentiators in the market from the standpoint of technology and innovation among others.

Managing technology is leveraged in 4 pillars: innovation management, technology planning, technology transfer and management of technological change. This varies according to each organization and country and is influenced by the organizational culture and leadership style. In addition to the set of values and the level of importance that is assigned to the process of technology management. In this context, the purpose of this research is to present an articulated model elements of successful technology management through case study of Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company (3M) at the corporate level, in their last 110 years, 3M has established itself as a multinational, multi-sector has had during that time a business model based on innovation very successful worldwide, with a presence in over 60 countries. Its organizational structure, its culture and its products are intended to generate the greatest amount of technology for the benefit of their clients and their marketing lines while ensuring profitability.

Management of Innovation

3M is a company that since its inception has been linked to the word innovation, after more than 100 years of work kept in a creative state is no easy task. However, that is exactly what they have been doing. To do this, the company has implemented various strategies that make innovation an integral part of the culture and philosophy of the company. These practices include:

1. The best way to predict the future is to create it: The 3M's business model focuses on promoting organic growth creating products that did not exist. This goes hand in hand with a strong investment in research and development close to 6% of the total annual revenues of the company (about $ 28,000 billion by 2011).

2. Hiring the right people tolerate mistakes and give free time: these three practices are closely linked with the principles inculcated in the organization by the former CEO, William L. McKnight. For more than 50 years and 3M had implemented the plan 15% of free time (15% rule) for research and development of individual solutions (long before Google or other technology companies). Even when taking years to get results, these were surprising: Tapes Scotch, Post-it notes, needle-free vaccination, among many other

3. Diversification of technology: with 45 platforms and more than 55,000 technology products 3M has managed to combine new technologies in unexpected ways. 3M technologies applied dental sector automotive applications; the micro replication technology has been transferred to other industries.

4. Robust Network: a company with over 75,000 employees is important that progress be reported to as many people



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