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Discontinuities and senior management: assessing the role of recognition in pharmaceutical firm response to biotechnology

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  • Sarah Kaplan
  • Fiona Murray
  • Rebecca Henderson

Abstract

Despite an increasing emphasis on the role of senior management cognition in shaping organizational action, there have been few attempts to link top management mental models to strategic choice in the face of discontinuous innovation. This paper uses 23 years of data covering 15 major pharmaceutical firms to explore the degree to which each firm's response to the revolution in biotechnology was shaped by the senior team's recognition of biotechnology's importance. Controlling for a number of important alternative explanations, we show that recognition may be an important predictor of action, suggesting that cognition at the most senior level can play a critical role in shaping established firms' response to discontinuities. Copyright 2003, Oxford University Press.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by Oxford University Press in its journal Industrial and Corporate Change.

Volume (Year): 12 (2003)
Issue (Month): 2 (April)
Pages: 203-233

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Handle: RePEc:oup:indcch:v:12:y:2003:i:2:p:203-233

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Cited by:
  1. Kaplan, Sarah & Tripsas, Mary, 2008. "Thinking about technology: Applying a cognitive lens to technical change," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 37(5), pages 790-805, June.
  2. K├Ânig, Andreas & Schulte, Martin & Enders, Albrecht, 2012. "Inertia in response to non-paradigmatic change: The case of meta-organizations," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 41(8), pages 1325-1343.
  3. Fabrizio, Kira R., 2009. "Absorptive capacity and the search for innovation," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 38(2), pages 255-267, March.
  4. Ding, Waverly, 2010. "The Impact of Founder Professional Education Background on the Adoption of Open Science by For-Profit Biotechnology Firms," Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, Working Paper Series qt9728v4sv, Institute of Industrial Relations, UC Berkeley.
  5. Pettus, Michael L. & Kor, Yasemin Y. & Mahoney, Joseph T., 2007. "A Theory of Change in Turbulent Environments: The Sequencing of Dynamic Capabilities Following Industry Deregulation," Working Papers 07-0100, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, College of Business.
  6. Schivardi, Fabiano & Schneider, Martin, 2005. "Strategic Experimentation and Disruptive Technological Change," CEPR Discussion Papers 4925, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  7. Virginia Acha, 2004. "Technology Frames: The Art of Perspective and Interpretation in Strategy," SPRU Working Paper Series 109, SPRU - Science and Technology Policy Research, University of Sussex.
  8. Alfonso Gambardella & Marco Giarratana, 2004. "Fingerprints of the Visible Hand. Chandlerian Organizations and their Inward Looking Malaise," LEM Papers Series 2004/16, Laboratory of Economics and Management (LEM), Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies, Pisa, Italy.
  9. Stefano Brusoni & Lorenzo Cassi, 2007. "Re-Inventing the Wheel: Knowledge Integration in Fast-changing Environments," KITeS Working Papers 209, KITeS, Centre for Knowledge, Internationalization and Technology Studies, Universita' Bocconi, Milano, Italy, revised Dec 2007.

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