Ref: IMD-7-2278

Case study

Reference: IMD-7-2278

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Michelin: Digital Transformation and Culture - Where the Rubber Hits the Road

Didier Bonnet

By Professor Didier BonnetDidier Bonnet and Lisa Simone Duke

The Michelin case study is about business and cultural change through the implementation of a digital transformation. It describes how Michelin, a 130-year-old leading global player in the tire industry, was facing intense competition from Asian low-cost players, who were commoditizing the core product. In addition, large digital platforms, such as Amazon and Alibaba, were disintermediating distribution, and vehicle ownership patterns were also changing with the emergence of new rental and car-sharing models. These changes brought the message home to management that Michelin needed to refocus on putting its customers at the heart of everything it does, simplify operations, empower its people to make the change happen and innovate its business model to find new sources of value. Michelin embarked on a digital transformation that was the catalyst for the transformation of the global business. The case details the steps senior management took to initiate and deploy Michelin's digital transformation and, in parallel, evolve a very strongly entrenched company culture. The success of Michelin's digital and culture change was in large part due to senior management's strong commitment to digital transformation and careful orchestration of the execution considering the highly decentralized and global nature of the organization.

Learning Objective

  1. Show how digital strategy and transformation require a significant evolution from the existing culture
  2. Show how culture change must be linked to business objectives and the new working practices that digital transformation demands
  3. Illustrate how to achieve culture change by empowering operational and frontline staff
Keywords Digital Transformation
Settings Global
Michelin, Tires
Type Field Research
Copyright ©IMD 2021
Language English
Related material Teaching note, Video
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Reference: IMD-7-2278

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Reference: IMD-7-2278

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