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Case
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Reference no. 9-897-165
Subject category: Entrepreneurship
Published by: Harvard Business Publishing
Originally published in: 1997
Version: 25 March 1997
Length: 26 pages
Data source: Field research

Abstract

Rubbermaid, a consumer-products company widely praised for its innovation, has instituted a company-wide experiment to stimulate innovation even further. The experiment consists of creating small cross-functional business teams within each division, with each team being responsible for the creation, management, and profitability of a particular product line. The staffing, reporting structure, and management of the business teams vary across divisions; and clear differences emerge in the performance of four highlighted teams. Specific topics include: options for staffing, structuring, and managing cross-functional business teams; the difficulty of implementing cross-functional teams in a company with a strong functional structure; the difficulty of balancing accountability and empowerment in 'entrepreneurial' teams within established firms; and the impact of different management approaches on the functioning of business teams.
Location:
Industries:
Size:
USD2.3 billion revenues; 14,500 employees
Other setting(s):
1996

About

Abstract

Rubbermaid, a consumer-products company widely praised for its innovation, has instituted a company-wide experiment to stimulate innovation even further. The experiment consists of creating small cross-functional business teams within each division, with each team being responsible for the creation, management, and profitability of a particular product line. The staffing, reporting structure, and management of the business teams vary across divisions; and clear differences emerge in the performance of four highlighted teams. Specific topics include: options for staffing, structuring, and managing cross-functional business teams; the difficulty of implementing cross-functional teams in a company with a strong functional structure; the difficulty of balancing accountability and empowerment in 'entrepreneurial' teams within established firms; and the impact of different management approaches on the functioning of business teams.

Settings

Location:
Industries:
Size:
USD2.3 billion revenues; 14,500 employees
Other setting(s):
1996

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