At the present moment, 3M Company is a large company operating worldwide. In fact, the former Minnesota Mining and Manufacturing Company has changed consistently its specialization and focus on the national market of the US and, instead, launched the new strategy of the international market expansion. In the result of such a strategy, the company operates now in more than 60 countries of the world, while its products are extremely diverse. In fact, nowadays the 3M Company offers to its customers over 75,000 products, including adhesives, abrasives, laminates, passive fire protection, dental products, electrical materials, electronic circuits, optical films, and many others. In this respect, it should be said that the company focuses on the production of highly technological products that could be applied in knowledge based industries.
At the same time, the orientation of the company on international markets is determined by the current situation in the business environment. To put it more precisely, under the impact of the process of globalization, the company is simply forced to enter new markets in order to maintain highly competitive position. In fact, nowadays, it is practically impossible to have a positive market performance and lose international markets. Nowadays, it is obvious that the international market expansion becomes a key factor of the commercial success of a company on the international level.
On the other hand, the expansion of the company on international markets provoked the problem of human resources and their management. In this respect, it is important to underline that the company operating in more than 60 countries of the world needs to provide the high quality of products and services in all countries where it operates. At the same time, the focus of the company on the high tech productions increases consistently the importance of human resources because in high tech and knowledge based industries human resources are the major source of innovations, which play the determinant role in the progress of the company and competitive power of its products. In other words, the potential of human resources is the foundation of the new developments of the company.
Naturally, in such a situation it is quite difficult to maintain the high level of standards of work and production, when the company operates in different countries and the professional level of employees may differ consistently. Initially, the company attempted to solve this problem by means of sending well-qualified employees to different countries of the world where their assistance was needed. However, this strategy proved to be ineffective and the 3M Company re-oriented its human resource management on the training and employment of local specialists. As a result, nowadays, practically all units of the company located in different parts of the world have the local personnel, which functions relatively autonomously from the headquarter of the company.
In fact, such a strategy is very perspective because it proves beyond a doubt that the company should become more flexible in relation to its affiliates and units located in different parts of the world. At any rate, the strict control and regulation of the policy of remote units of the company can hardly be very effective. In contrast, the autonomy and employment of local personnel opens new perspectives for the company in the future since it can accumulate findings and innovations made by different units and share this knowledge and experience within the entire company. In addition, this will make organizational structure more flexible and, therefore, able to adapt to the changing business environment.