Case Study

Michelin: Digital transformation and culture – where the rubber hits the road

19 pages
June 2021
Reference: IMD-7-2278

The Michelin case study is about business and cultural change through the implementation of a digital transformation. It describes how Michelin, a 130-years 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 or 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 the management that Michelin needed to refocus on putting its customers at the heart of everything the company 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 all the transformation of the global business. The case details the steps taken by senior management to initiate and deploy its digital transformation and, in parallel, evolve what was a very strongly entrenched company culture. The success of Michelin’s digital and culture change was in large part due to a strong commitment to digital transformation from senior management and a careful execution orchestration taking into account the highly decentralized and global nature of the organization.

Learning Objective
  • Show how digital strategy and transformation require a significant evolution from the existing culture
  • Show how culture change must be linked to business objectives and the new working practices that digital transformation demands
  • Illustrate how to achieve culture change by empowering operational and frontline staff
Digital, Digital Transformation, Organizational Culture, Culture Change
Michelin, Manufacturing, Automotive, Tires
Field Research
© 2021
Available Languages
Related material
Teaching note, Video
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