Du Pont: The Birth of the Modern Multidivisional Corporation

Posted: 22 Jun 2009

See all articles by Richard S. Tedlow

Richard S. Tedlow

Harvard University - Entrepreneurial Management Unit

David Ruben

Harvard Business School

Date Written: August 5, 2008

Abstract

Du Pont's realization in 1921 that its "U-form" corporate structure was ill-suited its new diversification strategy led to a pioneering new kind of organization - the "M" or multidivisional form - that has been called the most important innovation of capitalism in the 20th century. This case examines how and why this pivotal transformation took place, and what its implications may be for corporations that are trying to align their structure with their strategy as they undergo rapid growth and change.

Suggested Citation

Tedlow, Richard S. and Ruben, David, Du Pont: The Birth of the Modern Multidivisional Corporation (August 5, 2008). HBS Case No. 309-056, Harvard Business School Entrepreneurial Management Unit, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1422578

Richard S. Tedlow (Contact Author)

Harvard University - Entrepreneurial Management Unit ( email )

Cambridge, MA 02163
United States
617-495-6688 (Phone)
617-496-4877 (Fax)

David Ruben

Harvard Business School ( email )

Soldiers Field Road
Morgan 270C
Boston, MA 02163
United States

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