3m Corporations Organizational Culture

October 26, 2016 Philosophy


3M Corporation??™s Organizational Culture,
Espoused and Enacted Values and
Role of Communication

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COM530 Communications for Accountants
University of Phoenix

The purpose of this paper is to review 3M Corporation??™s philosophy, mission, vision and value statements followed by a discussion on its??™ espoused versus enacted values. The paper further describes to what extent communication is determined by 3M??™s culture and the role communication plays in perception and culture. It also addresses the role of conflict in group communication.

3M Corporation??™s Organizational Culture, Espoused and Enacted Values and
Role of Communication

The core philosophy of 3M Corporation revolves around its people on the premise that if the people grow, the company will grow. Leadership development is top priority while building a tradition of honesty and integrity. They believe in working in a socially responsible way, abiding by the laws of the land and investing in the communities in which they operate. Their Mission has three important components: economic success, environmental protection and social responsibility. Their vision is to actively contribute to sustainable development by ???meeting the needs of the society today, while respecting the ability of future generations to meet their needs.???

To act with honesty and integrity, 3M communicates proactively with governments and environmentalist organizations about its products. 3M does satisfy customers with innovative technology however towards the end of 2007 Professor Michael Tushman noted that the more Six Sigma they apply in R&D the less effective they are on exploratory innovation. 3M upholds its espoused value of providing investors an attractive return and global growth by finding a place in the Fortune list of 20 most admired companies and its??™ relentless acquisitions of companies abroad. It respects social and physical environments around the world by funding various educational programs, rewarding volunteer contributions and promoting eco-friendly R&D and products. To earn the admiration of everyone, 3M went on a worldwide shopping spree to acquire 24 companies from bio-technology to software in various niche markets and successfully integrating them into its core operations and corporate culture.

The healthy organizational culture in 3M promotes a two way communication between employees and their managers. There is also continuous learning which brings down the employee turnover below the industry average. All divisions of 3M heavily invest in employee training and encourage creativity by routinely discussing breakthrough ideas and products. All the above can happen only if there is a strong organizational culture within 3M.

Disparities between espoused and enacted values can have far reaching negative consequences for an organization. As layoffs and plant closings spread across France, at least 10 companies including in 3M, the executives were detained by workers angry about planned cuts. All were released unharmed later.

The main reasons that result in conflicts are: differences in understanding, perceptions, attitudes, or preferred actions of two or more parties involved. 3M uses elaborate business conduct guidelines and policies to keep conflicts to a minimum. ???It is 3M policy that employees and others acting on 3M??™s behalf must be free from conflicts of interest that could adversely influence their judgment, objectivity or loyalty to the company in conducting 3M business activities and assignments. The company recognizes that employees may take part in legitimate financial, business and other activities outside their 3M jobs, but any potential conflict of interest raised by those activities must be disclosed promptly to management.???


3M is a very successful global organization and an iconic corporation of USA. Over 79,000 employees produce over 500 products in 60 countries. Being such a large corporation, and also to maintain its leadership role, 3M dedicates a lot of effort to continuously improve its organizational culture and minimize the disparity between its espoused and enacted values. Communication within the organization and with external entities is governed by its culture and perceptions of people from time to time. With so much at stake 3M??™s management makes every effort to keep conflicts within its ranks and attrition with government and other agencies at low levels.


3M Corporation (2009) Business Conduct Policies. Retrieved August 10, 2009 http://www.3m.com
3M Corporation (2009) Corporate Responsibility. Retrieved August 10, 2009 http://www.3m.com
Matlack & Carol (2009) Hostage to Hard Times in France BusinessWeek, 00077135, 5/11/2009, Issue 4130
K. M. (2009) Strategic Buyer of the Year: 3M Corp Mergers & Acquisitions: The Dealermakers Journal; May2009, Vol. 44 Issue 5, p61-61, 1p, 1 color. Retrieved August 10, 2009
Robin, S. P. & Judge, T. A. (2007) Organizational Culture Organizational Behavior, (University of Phoenix Twelfth Edition e-Text). Prentice Hall. Retrieved August 10, 2009


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