3M Taiwan: Product Innovation in the Subsidiary
(10 pages of text)
On January 17, 2005, 3M Taiwan’s function head of its health care business division found himself in a meeting with the Acne Dressing project team. In 2004, the function head had initiated a project team to exploit local market needs for 3M hydrocolloid dressing, a technology that had existed in the company for many years without any practical applications. The local project team suggested applying the material for acne treatment. The product would be known as Acne Dressing. There was no standardized solution for acne treatment in Taiwan. If developed, Acne Dressing would be a brand new product in the local market.
The biggest challenge would be how to change local consumer behaviours on new acne treatment products. In addition, since there were no similar products in the market, the project team only had limited information and potential sales and volumes were uncertain. If the local development was launched, Acne Dressing would be 3M’s first product application of hydrocolloid dressing technology. With little previous experience in product development and no similar products existing in the market, the function head had to decide fast whether to proceed with this new product development. If so, what options did the local project team have? What kind of resources and support should the local health care business segment seek from headquarters for the product development? Should the local project team collaborate with other subsidiaries?
- To analyze organizational and management issues related to innovation and product development in a foreign subsidiary of a multinational enterprise (MNE).
- To analyze the relationships between a foreign subsidiary and headquarters during innovative activities within an MNE.
- To explore the phenomenon of subsidiary evolution in an MNE.
Taiwan, Large, 2005
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