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Case 17 - Johnson & Johnson

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Case 17 - Johnson & Johnson

1. Diversity should provide greater alternatives and inputs into the decision process, but if diversity is blocked due to organizational infrastructures that do not allow the free flow of information, than the diversity goes unutilized. Johnson & Johnson (J&J) structured its company to insure the positive impact of diversity in regards to decision making through its creation of FrameworkS. Through Frameworks, the executive committee is partnered with a variety of managers from around the organization that concentrate on specific, unprogrammed organizational decisions. FrameworkS matches the problem with appropriate decision making method. In this approach, managers share the problem with others and engage the group in consensus to arrive at a final decision.

By incorporating managers from around the organization, FrameworkS provides a process that successfully incorporates knowledge from a wide variety of sources. Managers are able to bring a variety of perspectives and experiences to deal with the problem at hand. The knowledge brought into focus is greater with these additional individuals involved.

In addition, difficulties including decision biases (confirmation traps and hindsight traps) and escalation of commitment can be countered in a constructive manner. J&J provides an environment that supports information search and open discussion among members of the group. By challenging long-held assumptions, a better decision develops from the interaction of group members.

2. J&J wished to increase both the number and quality of strategic choices for creating its future. Groups are often more successful than individuals in developing creative solutions due to the increased diversity of ideas available to the members. J&J managers attempted to benchmark high performance activities by investigating processes at its three internal and three external organizations. With a focus of identifying and implementing the new processes into J&J, the program "What's New" was the focus of the collection of J&J's executive and senior management team. By mixing managers from different organizations within J&J, the executive board hoped to manage knowledge in a manner that supports new ideas. A manager from one area may be able to shed considerable insight into the problems of a manager



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