How Philip Morris manages disruptive regulations and what other industries can learn from them

  • Adrian van Buuren (Student)

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


In this thesis presented in a case study format, we will analyze what happened to Philip Morris and how they adapted their strategy in a disruptive regulatory environment. We will firstly dig into the history of what happened to Philip Morris when increased regulation put a halt to most marketing practices for all players in the tobacco industry and analyze their reactions and switches in strategy. We will then analyze other industries that are experiencing similar disruptions and assess what they can learn from what happened to PM.Methods used: We will analyze the tobacco industry through several interviews with industry experts to gain insider knowledge of how tobacco companies were dealing with such disruptions as well as analyzing closely the existing research. We will then do the same thing with the alcohol and food/drinks industry and see firstly how they overlap and what they can learn from PM.After analyzing closely the existing research and interviews it is safe to say that PM and othertobacco companies are masters in the art of managing disruptive change. They do so by investing heavily in lobbying, adapting constantly to new laws and find legal ways around such regulations and finally the active participation in reducing harm to smokers by heavy investments in reduced risk products. The alcohol and food/drinks industry are facing the same challenges today and can learn a lot from the strategies PM implemented to tackle disruptions.
Date of Award21 Oct 2022
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Universidade Católica Portuguesa
SupervisorRicardo Reis (Supervisor)


  • Marketing
  • Regulation
  • Communication
  • Tobacco
  • Legal
  • Strategy
  • Reduced risk products
  • Next generation
  • IQOS
  • Dynamic capabilities
  • Disruption


  • Mestrado em Gestão e Administração de Empresas

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