Dow Chemical Polyolefins and Elastomers R&D: Sustaining High Performance (Abridged)

9 Pages Posted: 5 Apr 2010

See all articles by Alexander Horniman

Alexander Horniman

University of Virginia - Darden School of Business

Tom Cross

University of Virginia - Darden School of Business

Abstract

Once considered a candidate for divesture, Dow Chemical Polyolefins and Elastomers has had 12 successful years in a row. The company has set the standard of excellence for new-product innovation, having launched an average of one new-product line each year with 10 of the 11 launches being a success. After winning awards and receiving recognition for his speed in developing and launching chemical products, the company's COO now had a new concern to address: how will the company sustain its high performance over the long haul?

Excerpt

UVA-OB-0918

Dow Chemical Polyolefins and Elastomers R&D:

Sustaining High Performance (abridged)

Dow Chemical Polyolefins and Elastomers (PO&E) had been extremely successful over the past 12 years. Once considered a candidate for divesture, PO&E now set the standard of excellence for new-product innovation, having launched an average of one new-product line each year, with 10 of the 11 launches being a success. New products were now developed five times faster than they were prior to 1991.

In the fall of 2003, Kurt Swogger, vice president of PO&E R&D since 1991, had just been notified that his team had won the Product Development & Management Association's Outstanding Corporate Innovator Award. Last year, Swogger had been awarded the American Chemical Society Earle B. Barnes Award for Leadership in Chemical Research Management. Five new products (INSITE* technology polymers, ELITE*enhanced polyethylene resins, INDEX*INTERPOLYMERS, INSPIRE*performance polymers, and DOW XLA* elastic fibers) had received R&D 100 awards by R&D Magazine.

Swogger was extremely proud of what his team had accomplished and the recognition it had received. He was highly regarded at Dow Chemical and was one of Dow's top 25 executives. “Kurt Swogger is clearly an inspired and inspiring promoter of the chemical sciences inside and outside of Dow,” said Rick Gross, corporate vice president of Research and Development for the Dow Chemical Company. “He turned the phrase, ‘speed to market,' from a nice philosophy into a way of life. We are privileged to have an individual with his ability, intellect, and leadership skills working here at Dow.”

. . .

Keywords: product innovation, chemical products, marketing strategy

Suggested Citation

Horniman, Alexander and Cross, Tom, Dow Chemical Polyolefins and Elastomers R&D: Sustaining High Performance (Abridged). Darden Case No. UVA-OB-0918. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1584133

Alexander Horniman

University of Virginia - Darden School of Business ( email )

P.O. Box 6550
Charlottesville, VA 22906-6550
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.darden.virginia.edu/html/direc_detail.aspx?styleid=2&id=4329

Tom Cross (Contact Author)

University of Virginia - Darden School of Business

P.O. Box 6550
Charlottesville, VA 22906-6550
United States

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