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Title: Large chemical firms in biotechnology : case studies on learning in radically new technologies.
Author: Galimberti, Ilaria.
ISNI:       0000 0001 3486 8359
Awarding Body: University of Sussex
Current Institution: University of Sussex
Date of Award: 1993
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The thesis analyses how large European chemical companies assimilated biotechnology during the 1980s and what effect this had on the structure and organisation of their innovative capabilities. Since their establishment in the early 1900s these companies have grown, through a process of innovation and technological diversification, into very large and successful multinational and multiproduct firms today world-wide leaders in their sector. This was to a large extent made possible by their ability to develop internally their own technology and master scientific and technological advance in synthetic chemistry. The emergence of biotechnology (one of the most important and powerful generic technologies of the 20th century) in an institutional and scientific setting largely external to their core competences, posed them the problem of "learning" and "innovation" in new terms. New strategies for "learning" had therefore to be developed and implemented. Biotechnology was largely assimilated by these firms as an enabling technology rather than a product technology and this had for them a number of implications for the organisation of the R&D function and of searching procedures. Differences in strategic behaviour and decision-making in the process of learning and capability building in the new technology can be related both to structural differences in their own national system of innovation (i. e. science system) and differences in corporate cultures (i. e. visions and beliefs). On a theoretical ground these case studies of learning in a radically new technology question directly the concept of learning developed within an evolutionary approach to the theory of the firm and of innovation, and provide some theoretical insights on the links between organisational and technical change in a case of a very science based technology
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Education & training