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Title: Innovation in pharma companies : an investigation of R&D and external knowledge acquisition
Author: Jensen, Lillian
ISNI:       0000 0004 2704 4601
Awarding Body: Open University
Current Institution: Open University
Date of Award: 2010
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The study builds on the theoretical assumptions that extramural knowledge plays a crucial role for innovation and firms have the ability to acquire such knowledge. Inspired by the rise of biotechnology and big pharma's increasing reliance on internal and external R&D, the first aim of this study is to obtain an in-depth understanding of the distinctive effects the different knowledge acquisition strategies, R&D and collaborations, have on big pharma's innovation and capability building. The second aim recognises a gap in the literature with regards to understanding the practice of absorptive capacity and, building on Zahra and George's (2002) framework, seeks to investigate the key processes that enable a firm to acquire, assimilate, transform and exploit extramural knowledge. The first aim was achieved through carrying out: a multiple case study on three big pharma companies and a case study on two large scale collaborations (one of which resulted in an acquisition) entered by one of the three big pharma companies to access the field of monoclonal antibodies. The latter provided also the primary context to achieve the second aim. The investigation into the effects of R&D and collaborations firstly showed that due to the large scope of science and technology that has emerged over the last decade, big pharma has found itself unable to competitively enter into all the relevant areas. Hence, big pharma has increasingly used collaborations to reap small biotech's inventions. Given that big pharma is primarily responsible for the later stages of development, the key role of big pharma's R&D is increasingly becoming to identify, evaluate and develop externally invented candidate drugs; a role highly dependent on R&D investments. Despite their importance for obtaining inventions, the study provided evidence that collaborations have limited impacts on big pharma's learning and capability building.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available