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Johnson & Johnson Diversity Plan Essay

Johnson & Johnson was formed in 1885 in Brunswick, New Jersey, after two brothers, James Wood and Edward Mead Johnson saw a need to develop sterile supplies for surgical procedures. During that time, doctors operated without gloves, sterile equipment and used unclean cotton from textile mills to pack the wounds so the mortality rate for surgical patients was very high. One of the first products Johnson & Johnson developed was ready to use surgical dressings which to led to large reduction in surgical mortality rates. Johnson & Johnson continued developing and expanding their product line and their company.

In 1919, Johnson & Johnson began their first international expansion. The brothers first expanded into Canada and after an around the world trip in 1923 began to develop business in many more countries. They expanded into Australia in 1931, Sweden in 1956 and Japan in 1961 (Johnson & Johnson, 1997-2007). Over the next 60 years, Johnson & Johnson had established companies in over 50 countries.

During their international expansion, Johnson & Johnson also diversified their product line. They eventually organized their operations into three main divisions; pharmaceutical, medical devices and diagnostics, and consumer products (Answers Corporation, 2007). They became well known for the talcum powder, band-aids and the pain reliever, Tylenol. In 1932, Robert Wood Johnson II, known as General Johnson succeeded his uncle to take over running Johnson & Johnson. The General believed strongly in decentralization within the entire organization and all the divisions both in the United States and internationally were given authority to make their own decisions.

The General was also responsible for developing the Johnson & Johnson credo in 1943 and it is still in force today. The credo is defines the four primary responsibilities of the organization in their order of their importance. Johnson & Johnson’s first responsibility is to its customers, then to its employees, then to the community, and finally to its shareholders (Lukas, 2003). Believing and enforcing in this credo is what has made this organization what it is today and helped Johnson & Johnson overcome one of the most critical times in its history when it dealt with the Tylenol poisonings. The first priority of Johnson & Johnson was then and is still today the safety of its consumers.

Johnson & Johnson believes in diversity of its organization, its product line and its vendors. The organization has both an Office of Global Diversity as well as a supplier diversity program (Johnson & Johnson, 1997-2007). They believe encouraging diversity increases both their economic prosperity as well as benefiting each social community where they are located. By encouraging diversity throughout its entire organization, Johnson & Johnson has become one of the largest global health care leaders in the world.

William C. Weldon, Chairman, Board of Directors and Chief Executive Officer for Johnson and Johnson sets a clear course for the diversity action plan for the company. He states in his “Chairman’s Message” on the J&J website, how the company interacts with a diverse group of stakeholders daily and how both internal and external partnerships allow the company to more than it could on its own. With that in mind the company must create a Diversity Action Plan that allows employees to grow, develop and assume more responsibility, creating extraordinary leaders in the business sectors around the world (J&J.com).

Cultural NormsJ&J is committed to having its own operating companies purchase goods and services from a diverse supplier base that contributes to the economic vitality of the communities in which we live and work. To achieve this goal J&J has created a Supplier Diversity Program in 1998. The intent of this program is to provide value to the company and to enhance the company’s role as a health care leader throughout the world. The included in the program are:

•Certified minority-owned businesses, small and large

•Certified woman-owned businesses, small and large•Certified Small Disadvantaged Businesses•Small veteran-owned and service disabled veteran-owned businesses•Small, certified HUBZone businessesThe HUBZone Empowerment Contracting program provides federal contracting opportunities for qualified small businesses located in distressed areas. Fostering the growth of these federal contractors as viable businesses, for the long term, helps to empower communities, create jobs, and attract private investment (SBA.gov).

Another area the company attempts to enhance its image both in the US and around the world is through the development of Standards for Responsible External Manufacturing. These were developed to ensure the companies who do business with the company meet the same high standards of ethical behavior, product quality, and social responsibility practiced by J&J. There has to be common commitment to:•comply with applicable legal requirements,•behave ethically and with integrity,•integrate quality into business processes,•treat people with dignity and respect,•promote the safety, health and well-being of employees,•operate in an environmentally responsible manner, and•implement management systems to ensure ongoing performance and continual improvement (J&J, 2006)

These values and practices are determined through a vigorous benchmarking process for which any potential manufacturing partner must meet before becoming associated with the J&J Family of Companies. There is a two-fold advantage to this process. The first is it allows potential partners the opportunity to understand the values that drive the organization as well as providing them with a template for the sustainability the J&J Company has demonstrated. In addition, the high standards set by the company are not compromised by external manufacturing partners that could damage the J&J image.

To maximize their diverse workforce, the company has a vision statement in place that allows the company to maximize the benefits. The following is the company’s vision statement:The Johnson & Johnson Family of Companies will realize this vision by:•Fostering inclusive cultures that embrace our differences and drive innovation to accelerate growth;•Achieving skilled, high performance workforces that are reflective of the diverse global marketplace;•Working with business leaders to identify and establish targeted market opportunities for consumers across diverse demographic segments; and•Cultivating external relationships with professional, patient and civic groups to support business priorities.

The statement allows the diverse workforce by utilizing the vision statement by including the company’s belief (Credo). The credo, Latin for “I believe”, guides the company to the responsibilities as they relate to customers, employees, community and shareholders. The responsibilities are as follows:To our customers: we will embrace diversity in order to respect, understand and meet their varying health care needs.

To our employees: we will ensure a diverse and inclusive workplace, offer merit-based opportunities for employment and advancement and provide the necessary resources to develop our next generation of leaders.

To our communities: we will recognize opportunities to improve economic and human health care in the areas in which we live and work.

To our shareholders: we will oppose acts of intolerance and be mindful of the positive impact that diversity and inclusion have on our businesses.

J&J over the years has continuously looked toward technology to play key role in J&J’s strategic initiatives. The different approaches to productivity have varied throughout the years. Many factors contribute to the productivity and success of the J&J Company. Technology has played an important role in J&J’s ability to remain competitive and to continuously innovate. It is through technology that J&J’s management team is able to refine processes, collaborate, innovate, and increase the productivity of the organization in today’s dynamic business environment that is changing continuously.

The success of these companies is attributed to all the successful mergers and acquisitions that have taken place throughout J&J history. Many of these companies were opened due to successful mergers that allowed J&J to develop new products and offer them in different markets throughout the world. The successful organization of the products J&J offers allows J&J to successfully merge with other companies to gain additional control over the industry.

The result of this Credo is a healthy bottom line that is socially responsible. J&J history of philanthropy through partnering with other companies from around the world has created programs dedicated to providing needed services over the long term. J&J does not have a mission statement because the ethical principals listed in the Credo drive the company. The customer first philosophy insures the needs of the customer are met. Another principal outlined in the Credo is the dedication to producing a high quality product. Through this set of values the company has developed a trust with the consumers of their products. Trust develops into a reputation of integrity that in turn provides the company with a basis for business strategies. This ethical high road approach is a proven winner in this function.

Problem solving involves many departments and many steps. Technology plays an integral part in J&J’s ability to innovate, perform research and development, and manage the logistics associated with the distribution of a product during the products lifecycle.

J&J defines diversity “as a variety of similar and different characteristics among people, including age, gender, race, religion, national origin, physical ability, sexual orientation, thinking style, background and all other attributes that make each person unique.” Although some differences may not be obvious as others, Johnson & Johnson strives to understand and remove barriers that one may face due to these differences. Johnson & Johnson utilizes these differences to create a working environment where their employees can thrive. J&J believes that diversity helps the interaction between people as well as inspiring innovation.

J&J is committed to the practice of their global diversity vision which they use to identify their key, future objectives while guiding the fulfillment of their commitments to their customers, employees, the global community and their shareholders. Johnson & Johnson supports various educational opportunities such as Diversity University and Affinity Groups. J&J’s Diversity University provides an internal, full range of Diversity e-learning courses, diversity best practice information, and is a comprehensive diversity resource and database for employees. Affinity Groups are voluntary, employee-driven groups that are organized around a particular shared interest or dimension. These groups have been initiated by employees and usually focus on a shared interest or characteristic, such as race, ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation. Each group’s main intent is to create an open forum for idea exchange and to strengthen the linkage to and within diverse communities.

The successful leadership of the workers and the quick safety decisions that have had to be made, for example the recall of 264,000 bottles of Tylenol in 1982 and then a second recall in 1986, have made J&J a reputable name that many have grown to know and trust.


Answers Corporations. 2007. Johnson & Johnson. Retrieved June 27, 2007 from http://www.answers.com/topic/johnson-johnson?cat=biz-finJohnson & Johnson. Global Diversity – It’s All of Us. Retrieved June 30, 2007 fromhttp://www.jnj.com/our_company/diversity/index.htm;jsessionid=EGT3V0ZLGAFE0CQPCCFWU2YKB2IIWTT1Johnson & Johnson (2007). Supplier Diversity Program. Retrieved July 2, 2007 from http:www.jnj.comJohnson & Johnson (2006). Sustainability Report. Retrieved July 4, 2007 from http:www.jnj.comJohnson & Johnson. 1997-2007. Our Company. Retrieved June 26, 2007 fromhttp://www.jnj.com/our_company/index.htmLeading with Diversity – The New York Times. Retrieved June 29, 2007 fromwww.nytimes.com/marketing/jobmarket/diversity/jandj.htmlLukas, P. (2003, April). Johnson & Johnson. FSB: Fortune Small Business. Vol.13, Iss. 3; pg. 91. Retrieved June 26, 2007 from ProQuest database.

SBA.gov (2007). HUBZone Empowerment Contracting program. Retrieved July 5, 2007 from https://eweb1.sba.gov/hubzone/internet/general/whoweare.cfm#3The Diversity Vision Statement, Retrieved 06/29/07 fromhttp://www.jnj.com/our_company/diversity/diversity_vision/index.htmThe company Credo, Retrieved on 06/29/07 fromhttp://www.jnj.com/our_company/diversity/credo/index.htm

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