Case | HBS Case Collection | March 1999

Merck & Co., Inc.: Corporate Strategy, Organization and Culture (A)

by Michael Beer and Perry Fagan


In the early 1990s, Merck faced a series of challenges because of significant changes in its competitive and regulatory environment (e.g., growth in power of pharmaceutical buyers like managed care organizations led to price pressures and President Clinton's review of the entire U.S. health-care industry). The case describes the company under its previous CEO, and primarily under Ray Gilmartin, the new CEO. Discusses the strategic, organizational, cultural, and management challenges that Merck faced, as well as Gilmartin's change program from 1994 to 1998, which was aimed at helping Merck address these issues.

Keywords: Organizational Change and Adaptation; Business or Company Management; Organizational Culture; Problems and Challenges; Management Practices and Processes; Competitive Strategy; Management Teams; Health Care and Treatment; Governing Rules, Regulations, and Reforms; Situation or Environment; Alignment; Pharmaceutical Industry; United States;


Beer, Michael, and Perry Fagan. "Merck & Co., Inc.: Corporate Strategy, Organization and Culture (A)." Harvard Business School Case 499-054, March 1999.