Communications of the Association for Information Systems


FROM THE PREFACE TO THE CASE STUDY: In July 1998, Hurley Myers, President of DxR Development Group, stared at the gray plastoid brain lying on the desk before him. A prop for the medical multimedia software his firm developed, it also was a suitable metaphor for the many critical decisions that he faced. Complicating these decisions was his uncertainty regarding the intentions of his partner and biggest customer, a large pharmaceutical company. For the next six months, the customer had the option either to buy DxR out or to release it from its contractual obligations. If it chose the former, it might do so just to obtain the intellectual property rights controlled by DxR. This option might permit DxR to start up again in the medical education marketplace, but without its biggest customer and much of its intellectual property. With either the restart or release option, DxR would need to adapt to the major change in orientation. The change would encourage DxR to identify new customers and new product opportunities and create new strategic alliances. If any of these options resulted in further growth, Myers knew that some of his management team felt more rigorous procedures were necessary for software development and human resource management. Myers also felt that DxR's pharmaceutical partner needed to be making greater use of the Internet for marketing, and perhaps distributing, DxR's products.





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