Case Detail

Case Summary

Zimmer: The Gender-Specific Knee

Case Number: 5-207-252, Year Published: 2007

HBS Number: KEL276

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Authors: Timothy Calkins; Joseph Harmon

Key Concepts

New Product Strategy, Medical Device Marketing, Growth Strategy


This case is focused on a simple question: should Zimmer develop a gender specific knee? The decision is complicated, because while the idea seems to make sense, there is little clinical evidence that a gender specific knee produces superior patient outcomes, and orthopedic surgeons are likely to be skeptical of the innovation. This case can be used to teach new product strategy and growth strategy. It can also be used to introduce students to the medical device industry. The case is appropriate for a basic marketing course, a marketing strategy course, or a medical marketing course.

Number of Pages: 12

Extended Case Information

Teaching Areas: Biotechnology, Marketing, Strategy, Technology

Teaching Note Available: Yes

Geographic: United States

Industry: Medical Devices

Organization Name: Zimmer Holdings Corporation

Organization Department: Development

Organization Size: Large

Decision Maker Position: Director of Development

Decision Maker Gender: Male

Year of Case: 2004