Case Study 5

The Tylenol Crisis: How Ethical Practices Saved Johnson & Johnson from Collapse

(This case is developed from published reports, and is purely meant for class room discussion. It is not intended to serve as endorsement of sources of primary data or illustrations of effective or ineffective management.)

Company Background

Robert Wood Johnson along with his two brothers, James Wood and Edward Mead Johnson, formed a partnership in 1885 to make commercial use of the discoveries of Sir Joseph Lister, a reputed English surgeon, who identified airborne germs as the invisible assassins that caused infection in the operating room. This partnership firm was incorporated as Johnson & Johnson in 1887 and began its operations in New Brunswick, ...

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