Journal of International Information Management


A decision team composed of managers and staff experts at Mary Kay Cosmetics develops packaging for new and revised products as well as sets their prices. However, the potential for costly errors in the decision-making process motivated this group to pursue development of an expert system (ES) to assist with the problem. The ES performed so well that it changed the organization's behavior—the group ceased to meet for the purpose of developing the packaging but instead gathered just to confirm and approve the expert system's solution. Despite the clear benefits associated with using an ES approach, the group stopped using the ES application and the behavior of the group returned to pre-ES practices. This work describes from a managerial perspective how and why this valuable tool fell into disuse, and offers valuable lessons for management.