Holding Fast

In: Business and Management

Submitted By park12e3
Words 496
Pages 2
Holding fast.
Gourville JT.
Source
Harvard Business School, Boston, USA. jgourville@hbs.edu
Abstract
CEO Peter Walsh faces a classic innovator's dilemma. His company, Crescordia, produces high-quality metal plates, pins, and screws that orthopedic surgeons use to repair broken bones. In fact, because the company has for decades refused to compromise on quality, there are orthopedic surgeons who use nothing but Crescordia hardware. And now these customers have begun to clamor for the next generation technology: resorbable hardware. Resorbables offer clear advantages over the traditional hardware. Like dissolving sutures, resorbable plates and screws are made of biodegradable polymers. They hold up long enough to support a healing bone, then gradually and harmlessly disintegrate in the patient's body. Surgeons are especially looking forward to using resorbables on children, so kids won't have to undergo a second operation to remove the old hardware after their bones heal, a common procedure in pediatrics. The new products, however, are not yet reliable; they fail about 8% of the time, sometimes disintegrating before the bone completely heals and sometimes not ever fully disintegrating. That's why Crescordia, mindful of its hard-earned reputation, has delayed launching a line using the new technology. But time is running out. A few competitors have begun to sell resorbables despite their imperfections, and these companies are picking up market share. Should Crescordia join the fray and risk tarnishing its brand? Or should the company sit tight until it can offer a perfect product? Commenting on this fictional case study are Robert A. Lutz, vice chairman of product development at General Motors; Clayton M. Christensen, the Robert and Jane Cizik Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School; Jason Wittes, a senior equity analyst covering medical…...

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