Welcome for the debrief for the GE Healthcare in India case.
And I hope that of course, you've had a chance to read the case carefully.
I also hope you've had a chance to carefully think about the questions that
we asked you about this particular case, the stuff we wanted you to think about.
I hope you've taken the opportunity to perhaps discuss the case with others
either online or in person.
It's an interesting complicated case and so
I hope you've had a chance to do all those things.
Now my intent here is not to give you answers or takeaways but rather,
I'm just focused on maybe highlighting a couple of things that would be interesting
for you to think about as you analyze and think carefully about this case.
Now, it's important to remember that, in a case like this,
there's not always a single right answer.
And that's just like in real life, there's not always a perfect strategy for
a particular business that's in a particular context or situation.
But, some strategies are better than others, so
that's not to say any strategy will do here, or decision will do in the case.
So, it's an opportunity for you to think a bit about how to do a strategic analysis,
and again my purpose here is to give you some stuff to think about,
and potentially highlight some interesting things to consider.
That may give you some guidance on how to use the tools and
the frameworks to think about analyzing this particular case.
And of course as always the larger goal here is to help
refine your ability to do a larger strategic analysis.
So every time we have a case discussion and we give you a case to read and think
about and discuss,the point isn't so much to learn about that particular business or
context, but to gain some facility with utilizing the tools and
the frameworks and structure your thinking on how to
conduct a strategic analysis of the business involved.
So anyhow, with that, let's jump right into the case.
Now, I should say at the outset that
this is a case that tackles a sensitive subject.
And so I just wanted to acknowledge that upfront.
And it certainly would've been easier for
us to pick a case about a stakeholder management issue in a context that was
perhaps less emotionally charged, or less potentially controversial.
But here's the thing.
We wanted to have you read something where the stakes really matter.
I think it highlights what's important
about managing the different stakeholder interests in a particular case.
And so ,although this case highlights something sensitive, it's a real case.
This is a real live case about GE healthcare
operating in the Indian context.
And I think it highlights certainly some interesting and some sensitive and
some really important issues.
Lives are at stake here.
That said, there's a few important things
to keep in mind as you think about this case.
First of all, the point of the case is not to highlight a particular problem in
the developing world, right?
So, in other words, the point of the case isn't to sort of highlight a tension
between the developing, and the more industrialized, or developed world.
In fact, I think hopefully this comes out in the case, but
if you know anything about this issue, this is something that occurs all around
the world, even in the most industrialized and developed of nations.
So the point isn't to sort of highlight attention between the developing and
the more industrialized or developed world.
Remember, this is a real case.
So rather, I think the point is to help you to think about and
grapple with a contextualized, culture-based issue that has important
implications for an organization's strategic decisions within that context.
So, here we have a highly culture-specific ethics issue that arises.
There's lots of stakeholders that are interested in this and
taken interest in it.
And that's the kinda challenge that firms face all the time, all around the world.
So with that, let's think about what some of the maybe interesting
things to consider are as you have discussed this case with others,
as you've thought about it, as you've wrestled with the issues there.
I always think that it's useful to begin with the protagonist.
So in this case if you are Rajah, how do you feel about this?
What are you thinking about as you're wrestling with this case?
What is it that you're wrestling with?
And I think the point there is that, often times when we analyze a business case,
we sort of think of it as being at arms length, or it's this sort of,
we do this sort of sterilized analysis of some kind of business
situation that's sort of very different from what we might think or feel.
But I think here it's important and
I think because of the emotionally charged nature of some of the issues in this case,
I hope that you feel like you have a stake in this.
And as you think about the issues that are raised in the case I,
think it's important and it's useful often to project those feelings and
reactions onto the protagonist.
So again, you read this case as if you're Rajah.
How to you feel?
What are you thinking about?
What are you wrestling with?
So that's one thing I would suggest that might be interesting, you may have
approached it that way or maybe not, but that's a suggestion I might have.
I think a key issue in this case is the question of, what GE's responsibility is?
As you read the case, it's from the perspective of GE's management,
Rajah sets sales targets here for this portable ultrasound devices.
So the unit's done well, it's been successful, but there's this controversy,
and what's your responsibility for essentially,
the unintended use of your product?
And how do you think about responsibility?
So that's something I would suggest to you is really important for
you to consider is, is how do you conceive of
General Electric's responsibility in this particular case?
I think it's easy to fall into the trap of thinking about responsibility as a thing.
I'm either holding that thing or I'm passing it off to somebody else.
And therefore it's kind of all or nothing, right?
I think sometimes students and executives that I work with and
teach this case to, that can be an easy trap to fall into.
It's this idea that well, someone else ought to be responsible for this problem.
It's the Indian government's responsibility or
it's the patient's responsibility and here's the thing, are all of those
other parties, or all those other stakeholders responsible as well?
Do they have some responsibility?
Of course they do.
But I think we have to be careful not to think about responsibility as some
discreet thing that we either have all of or none of, right?
So, that would be one thing I encourage you to think about is as you consider GE's
responsibility, think about what is it that you're willing to
take some responsibility for, and just because you feel some responsibility,
doesn't mean you own all of the responsibility.
I think there's a host of parties who have some responsibility and
a stake in this particular issue.
So, that's one thing that I would encourage you to think about that
might be helpful.
Often when I'm teaching the case in a live setting with actual
participants in the classroom, I'll separate them out into,
and sort of tell them to adopt different stakeholder perspectives.
So I might have a group that takes the perspective of GE management in the case.
What sorts of things do they think they ought to do
given the way that the case is set up?
But then I have other groups sort of identify themselves as let's say your
the group of kind of physicians in India, that's out there working in the clinics.
How do you see this issue?
And what would you like to see GE do in this case?
Similarly, you could think about customers of General Electric, and
not even the direct ones, the direct customers of GE Healthcare,
but GE's this huge, highly diversified multinational business.
So, what about GE's other customers in other lines of business?
I mean, GE makes jet engines and all sorts of stuff.
So, what are those customers, when they read about this in the newspaper and
they say, oh, GE's involved in this particular issue, and,
what is it that you would like to see GE do in this case?
So, you could take all these different stakeholder perspectives.
Think of the investor.
As an investor in GE, let's assume that you have a mutual fund or
a retirement account that has some investment in GE, right?
You don't have to be a major block shareholder, let's just assume you're
someone who has some retirement money that's invested in GE.
What's your perspective on this?
What would you like to see GE do as an investor, right?
So you can think of all of these different stakeholder groups and
we've just scratched the surface of them but
I would encourage you to sort of think about different stakeholder perspectives.
And here's where we can use that tool, a stakeholder analysis tool.
It's this matrix on the way that different stakeholders might value different things
and apply them to this case.
What is it that the Indian doctors would like to see?
What would the Indian government like to see out of GE do you think?
What do Non-Indian customers of General Electric in Europe or
the United States, for example.
What would they like to see here?
What are investors looking for?
So I would think about all those stakeholders.
And maybe it's an interesting question to ask yourself.
Which stakeholders are we potentially ignoring here?
Are there some stakeholders that
we might not normally think of that might have a stake in this, right?
Or they're NGOs that have a stake in
public health in the subcontinent or whatever.
I would encourage you to think about a wide variety of stakeholders and
what their perspective is.
And then, of course it's useful to then imagine you as Rajah in this case.
You're GE, and let's just suppose that you had the opportunity to engage
with all these different stakeholders and
get their perspective on what they would like to see you do.
What do you think they're gonna pressure you to do here?
And that might tell you something about what's important as you think about
all those stakeholders in your sort of stakeholder matrix.
What it is that they value, what they would like to see you do,
what their priorities are for you action.
So there's an idea for you that I think might be important.
Of course as you do that, as you think of all these stakeholder perspectives,
of course, you have to decide on what to do.
So,in the context of your business here,
you're Rajah, you've gotta set sales targets for next year.
You've had a unit that's done well.
I mean, how aggressively do you wanna market this product,
given this sort of unintended use?
How much should you engage in that?
One useful way of maybe thinking about this is you can think about
your value chain.
Think about the value chain of these ultrasound devices specifically.
We manufacture them, there's a sort of sales and distribution operation,
goes out to the clinics and the hospitals and the doctors and then the patients.
So if you think about that value chain and
sort of all of the different steps along the way there,it
might also be useful to think of that as a responsibility chain, right?
In other words, if you're a GE,
at what point do you think your responsibility ends?
Maybe you feel like you have responsibility
all the way out to how doctors are using the devices in the clinics or
how patients are approaching the doctors, and so in that case,
maybe you wanna consider sorts of strategic actions that
might insert GE's influence, clear down towards the end of that value chain.
Maybe you think it ends sooner.
But I encourage you to grapple with that question.
What's the extent of GE's responsibility and
how far down that responsibility chain does GE's responsibility go?
And I think again, understanding other stakeholders perspectives here
might help you decide what to do.
How far that goes and are we gonna get involved with the way our sales model.
Do we want to follow up with the doctor's in the clinics on how
the machines have been used?
I mean, there's a whole range of actions you could potentially take.
So, when it comes to those potential actions another thing you might consider
is again, you can use another matrix, I guess, from the stakeholder analysis tool.
Thinking about the possible actions you could take.
We could either try to address the issue this way, or
we might approach it that way.
But for each of those strategic alternatives,
thinking through what's the impact on each of those stakeholders?
What's the impact on stakeholders that, again, you might not immediately think of?
How are others gonna perceive your actions and what impact will that again have on
your business operations and your future prospects and that part of the world?
And it might also help you to think about
are there strategic actions you're not considering?
Where might the best ideas come from for GE in this case?
And their, it might be useful to imagine what it might be like to interact with
these various stakeholders,
to gain their perspective and different ideas on where to go and what to do.
So there's some ideas to think about.
I might just highlight another couple interesting questions to consider.
What costs, given the potential actions you're considering taking,
which costs are you willing to incur?
To what extent do you want to partner with other stakeholders and
organizations to help share some of those costs, right?
And even further, what's the best way to think about the benefits
that might arise from incurring those costs, right?
So as you close in on a decision
on deciding in this case what you would recommend that Rajah do.
Given what you decide, I would encourage you to think about
what you're most worried about, given that decision.
So you decided here's the actions you're gonna take.
You're gonna take things this far.
Here's how you're gonna engage those stakeholders and engage in this issue and
try to make it better.
But given the extent of what you've decided to do and or not do,
what are you most worried about, right?
What are the things that might keep you up at night,
given the decision that you're about to make here?
Well, hopefully these types of things give you some ideas on
some things that you might focus on as you apply the tool and as you think about.
And you'll notice I've mostly raised questions, I haven't given any answers.
I think that's for you to sort of do the analysis and decide what's best.
And of course here we focused, I focused in the debrief especially
on the stakeholder analysis, but of course you also need to think about
your other tools and frameworks that would be important to also employ here.
What insights arise when you use a stakeholder analysis
together with some of the other tools?
Competitor analysis, environmental trends, etc.
I think you also need to really think carefully about what happens downstream.
I hope you consider what are the future challenges for GE, given the case,
given what you decide to do in the case.
So, it's a complicated case, it highlights a sensitive and
emotionally charged, culture-specific issue that I think is really important.
I hope you enjoyed discussing the case and thinking about it.
Case Study: Ge Healthcare in India: an (Ultra) Sound Strategy?
1142 WordsOct 29th, 20155 Pages
Case Study: GE Healthcare In India: An (Ultra) Sound Strategy?
What are the basic facts?
GE Healthcare India, a joint venture between General Electric (GE) and the Indian multinational Wipro Ltd., had ended the 2005-2006 year with a significant rise in sales of 10% since last year. They were the market leader in the $77 million ultrasound machine market, beating its competitors, which included Siemens, Toshiba and Philips. The president and CEO of GE Healthcare India, V. Raja read the newspaper headlines which described how government officials in Hyderabad had been confiscating ultrasound machines that they suspected were being used illegally to determine the sex of unborn children. The article featured a poster for GE ultrasound…show more content…
With such importance placed on a boy child- male dominance rises, abortion rates increase and women have no importance or role in the society. As the male population goes up, the society is more prone to banditry, rapes, sexual harassment cases, eve teasing, rioting and militarization. Shortage of women also leads to socially disruptive behavior and mental health issues.
What are the effects on each group, company, investor, employee, consumer, and/or society?
GE Healthcare India, one of the main stakeholders in this issue, sold 18,255 ultrasound scanners in India from 2002 to 2006 and had whopping sales of $77 million in 2006. As a result of the rising criticism of ultrasound machines sold by their company, they have faced legal issues, intense government scrutiny and pushback from activists for having aggressive sales tactics. Completely banning ultrasounds would have an adverse effect on their company and its sales.
The employees of GE Healthcare India would also be criticized for working for a company that sells ultrasound machines which are promoting abortion of the female child. If GE Healthcare India’s sales go down because of the whole controversy, the employees would lose their jobs.
The consumers and society would not be able to use ultrasound machines if it was banned. Ultrasound machines have several benefits like diagnosis of gallbladder disease or obstructions, evaluation of blood flow in blood vessels, identifying abnormal