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Is Dr. Steinberg's Trait Selection a Viable Business?
Journal of Critical Incidents (2010)
  • Chunlei Wang, San Jose State University
  • A. Osland, San Jose State University
  • N. Clinch, San Jose State University
  • W. Jiang, San Jose State University
  • V. Kumar

This critical incident focuses on decision making. In February 2009, Dr. Jeff Steinberg announced that his clinic, The Fertility Institutes, would use preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) to help prospective parents to pick their babies’ hair or eye color. Immediately after the media coverage of the initiative, some doctors expressed doubts regarding its technical feasibility, and some religious groups and bioethicists questioned its ethics. Amidst ethical controversies and technological uncertainty, Dr. Steinberg and his colleagues are facing challenges to legitimate the trait selection business. When a new technology, PGD in this case, lays a foundation to a potential new line of business (e.g., the trait selection business), strategic entrepreneurs need to learn about how to deal with issues peculiar to the embryonic stage of an industry. Furthermore, a technology is not always value neutral, but can involve ethical controversies. Entrepreneurs should assess the ethical implications of the technology and formulate strategies to shape the institutional environment to their advantage.

Publication Date
October, 2010
Publisher Statement
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Citation Information
Chunlei Wang, A. Osland, N. Clinch, W. Jiang, et al.. "Is Dr. Steinberg's Trait Selection a Viable Business?" Journal of Critical Incidents Vol. 3 (2010)
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