Essay on 3m Optical Systems

1316 Words Jul 9th, 2008 6 Pages
3M Optical Systems: Case Brief

As Andy Wong, how would you handle the authorization for expenditure for the re-launch of the privacy screen?
As Andy Wong, I would take the proposal to one of my senior-level mentors for support. The OS unit has already tried and failed three times with the microlouvered filter and high level support would benefit both Wong and Guehler in this case. If Guehler sees that other areas of 3M are in support of the authorization for expenditure, then he will not have to be concerned about the OS unit’s credibility – this gives Wong a significant plus. If, however, Wong is unable to garner the support from his mentors in order to give this AFE the standing it needs, I would not recommend backing the project.
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To be quite frank, Guehler has his credibility to consider. If he approves this, when most of the company would advise against it, and it fails – he’s an idiot. If, however, it succeeds – he’s a genius. Such is the life of a person in his position. Looking strictly at the facts, Guehler has five business units to develop and failure to retain his credibility regarding one unit puts the other four in a tenuous situation. The approval of a further failure will significantly lower his ability to lobby on behalf of the other units, placing them at risk. Lacking some serious political maneuvering by Wong, I would not agree to the proposal for further expenditures.
In this case, the primary reason for which I would not (as Guehler) approve the AFE is because Andy Wong has lost quite a bit of credibility with the two prior failures. Noirjean has already received a request for sales data going back to 1986 – with the understanding that the fate of OS is at stake. Upper management does not have confidence in the ability to produce a viable product at this time. As per Burgelman’s description of a managerial dilemma in the impetus process, “Corporate level management’s decision to authorize further resource allocations to a new venture are to a large extent dependent on the credibility of the managers involved. Credibility, in turn, depends primarily on the quantitative results produced.” (Burgelman, 1986) To date, the…

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