Posted by: Audrey Erbes | July 4, 2008

Decentralized Management at J&J

Johnson & Johnson (J&J) has been the major example of successful decentralized corporate management in the life science industry. They have over 200 subsidiary companies divided into three major units: pharmaceutical, medical device & diagnostics and consumer. I’ve often expected that J&J would be the leader in developing a successful business model for personalized medicine drugs and tools because of their having drugs as well as diagnostics under one tent. But so far, Roche seems to be more successful than J&J in that regard.
I hear from internal J&J employees that competition between their business units for resources has resulted in barriers to coordinated projects across units. Therefore, I was very interested in learning more about the internal operations and understanding how the units might work together in a Wharton article appearing late last month. I recommend the article focused on the opportunities and challenges in managing the decentralized company. Knowledge@ CEO provides an interview with William Weldon, CEO at J&J since 2002 providing insights in their corporate attempts to coordinate convergent projects across sectors.
The article is entitled William Weldon: Leadership in a Decentralized Company: Knowledge@Wharton Published: June 25, 2008 available for downloading as personal use pfd file at
(http://knowledge.wharton.upenn.edu/article.cfm?articleid=2003)
Audrey

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