March 31, 2013
Prof. Traci Kimbrough
National American University
Employee Involvement: Sugar Substitute Research Decision
As head of research and development for a major beer company, I need to decide how much I should involve my employees in a decision regarding how much time and resources, if any, we should put into research and development of a possible new sugar substitute one of my scientist may have stumbled upon (McShane, The Sugar Substitute Research Decision, 2002). I don’t currently see how this product could be used by my company directly, but it may be able to be patented and licensed to other industries for use. This could create additional capital for my company. In making this decision, I need to look at the structure of the decision, if I need another source of knowledge to make a good decision, if my employees will commit to the decision without their involvement, and what the risk of conflict is surrounding the decision.
First, I need to look at what type of decision this will be, programmed or non-programmed. A programmed decision is one where it has been resolved in the past and a solution has already been identified and a non-programmed decision is one that requires all steps in the decision making process because it is new problem (McShane & Von Glinow). In this case, it is a new problem because we do not currently have rules or guidelines around funding projects licensed but not used by my company. Therefore, it is a non-programmed decision I am trying to make and some form of employee involvement may be beneficial.
Next, I need to decide if another source of information, besides my own, is needed. Unfortunately, I do not have a lot of knowledge around sugar substitute chemistry or the amount of research that would be required to perfect this substitute before we could patent it and license it for use. In addition, I do not know...