Nokia - Fostering Innovation

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Case Details:

Case Code : HROB023
Case Length : 14 Pages
Period : 1997 - 2002
Pub Date : 2003
Teaching Note : Available
Organization : Nokia
Industry : Mobile Telecommunication
Countries : Finland

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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Fostering Innovation

The vision and mission of Nokia played a very important role in fostering innovation. Nokia's vision was to create and operate in, what the company calls, "an inclusive environment." An inclusive environment refers to a culture which emphasizes individual and cultural differences and seeks to benefit from these differences.

Nokia believed that diversity is one of the key determinants of success, as it increased creativity, mirrored the marketplace, and improved the attraction and retention of human resources, among other things. An inclusive environment seeks and values diversity with a view to benefiting from it...

The Secrets of Nokia's Success

In 'The Nokia Revolution,' Dan Steinback explores the growth and evolution of Nokia from a small Finnish company to a global conglomerate. He suggests that the success of the company is due to the following reasons.

1. Bold Strategic Intent: Nokia boldly rushes forward to seize new opportunities and products and does not debate and agonize over first mover strategies...

Research & Development

The R&D set up at Nokia was rather different from that of other companies. While most large companies had centralized R&D facilities with tall hierarchical structures to facilitate strict control over processes and research, Nokia's R&D operations were scattered across the world in 69 sites, and its 19,579 (as on December, 2002) engineers, designers and sociologists were given complete freedom to operate and develop their own ideas, over and above their officially designated research projects. The structure was flat and most of the employees reported directly to the head of R&D...

Questioning Nokia's Culture

Analysts felt that Nokia's open and supportive culture gave employees the opportunity to develop their skills and as a result, contribute more to the organization. However, openness was not without its share of pitfalls...


Exhibit I: Market Share of Major Players in Mobile Phones
Exhibit II: Innovations in 2002*
Exhibit III: Nokia's Firsts In Mobile Phones
Exhibit IV: Nokia's Production Facilities and R&D Centers
Exhibit V: Nokia Code of Conduct
Exhibit VI: The Nokia Way


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