Making Local Knowledge Global (HBR Case Study and Commentary)
David Martin, chief operating officer of Lexington Labs, was apprehensive about the upcoming meeting with his senior sales executives. Just a few years earlier, when the pharmaceutical company enjoyed extraordinary success, gatherings with the sales force had seemed like celebrations. But in the past 18 months, sales had begun to fall, as had earnings. And most of the top sales personnel had begun to focus on their own businesses as major changes swept through the health care industry. Martin sensed that the solution was a system to facilitate the flow of knowledge across borders. Sales executives needed to share vital information about products, customers, competitors, and selling techniques. But what kind of system would work best? Unfortunately, Martin's apprehensions were justified. The meeting only emphasized how fragmented the company had become. How can Martin get Lexington to function as one global company? In 96302 and 96302Z, Louise Goeser, Thomas H. Davenport, Barry Harrington, George Goldsmith, and G. Kelly O'Dea offer advice on this fictional case study. THIS CASE STUDY INCLUDES BOTH THE CASE AND THE COMMENTARY. FOR TEACHING PURPOSES, THE REPRINT IS ALSO AVAILABLE IN TWO OTHER VERSIONS: CASE STUDY ONLY, REPRINT 96302X, AND COMMENTARY ONLY, REPRINT 96302Z.