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Capturing Knowledge within and across Firm Boundaries: Evidence from Clinical Development

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  • Pierre Azoulay

Abstract

How do firm boundaries influence employees' acquisition of information? Using detailed project-level data and qualitative evidence, I document that pharmaceutical firms are more likely to outsource the coordination of data-intensive clinical trials, while they are more likely to assign knowledge-intensive trials to internal teams. Managers do not choose between market and hierarchy, but between the hierarchy of the firm—in which subjective performance evaluations are combined with flat explicit incentives—and the hierarchy of its subcontractor—whose virtue stems precisely from the ability to provide high-powered incentives on a narrow set of monitorable tasks.

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  • Pierre Azoulay, 2004. "Capturing Knowledge within and across Firm Boundaries: Evidence from Clinical Development," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 94(5), pages 1591-1612, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:aea:aecrev:v:94:y:2004:i:5:p:1591-1612
    Note: DOI: 10.1257/0002828043052259
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Billette de Villemeur, Etienne & Versaevel, Bruno, 2017. "One Lab, Two Firms, Many Possibilities: on R&D outsourcing in the biopharmaceutical industry," MPRA Paper 76903, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    2. M. Lourdes Sosa, 2009. "Application-Specific R& D Capabilities and the Advantage of Incumbents: Evidence from the Anticancer Drug Market," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 55(8), pages 1409-1422, August.
    3. Thomas Hellmann & Enrico Perotti, 2011. "The Circulation of Ideas in Firms and Markets," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 57(10), pages 1813-1826, October.
    4. repec:spr:amsrev:v:4:y:2014:i:3:d:10.1007_s13162-014-0060-6 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Timothy Bresnahan & Jonathan Levin, 2012. "Vertical Integration and Market Structure," Introductory Chapters,in: Robert Gibbons & John Roberts (ed.), The Handbook of Organizational Economics Princeton University Press.
    6. Sharon Novak & Scott Stern, 2009. "Complementarity Among Vertical Integration Decisions: Evidence from Automobile Product Development," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 55(2), pages 311-332, February.
    7. Bastian Rake, 2017. "Determinants of pharmaceutical innovation: the role of technological opportunities revisited," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 27(4), pages 691-727, September.
    8. Sharon Novak & Scott Stern, 2007. "Complementarity Among Vertical Integration Decisions: Evidence from Automobile Product Development," NBER Working Papers 13232, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    9. Lamar Pierce, 2012. "Organizational Structure and the Limits of Knowledge Sharing: Incentive Conflict and Agency in Car Leasing," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 58(6), pages 1106-1121, June.
    10. Arnaud Costinot & Lindsay Oldenski & James Rauch, 2011. "Adaptation and the Boundary of Multinational Firms," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 93(1), pages 298-308, February.
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    12. Elisabetta Magnani & David Prentice, 2010. "Outsourcing And Unionization: A Tale Of Misallocated (Resistance) Resources," Economic Inquiry, Western Economic Association International, vol. 48(2), pages 460-482, April.
    13. Kevin J. Boudreau & Karim R. Lakhani, 2016. "Innovation Experiments: Researching Technical Advance, Knowledge Production, and the Design of Supporting Institutions," Innovation Policy and the Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(1), pages 135-167.
    14. Der-Fang Hung, 2015. "Sustained Competitive Advantage and Organizational Inertia: The Cost Perspective of Knowledge Management," Journal of the Knowledge Economy, Springer;Portland International Center for Management of Engineering and Technology (PICMET), vol. 6(4), pages 769-789, December.
    15. Huo, Jingjing, 2015. "How Nations Innovate: The Political Economy of Technological Innovation in Affluent Capitalist Economies," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, number 9780198735847.
    16. repec:spr:manint:v:57:y:2017:i:6:d:10.1007_s11575-017-0326-y is not listed on IDEAS
    17. Galasso, Alberto & Schankerman, Mark & Serrano, Carlos J., 2013. "Trading and enforcing patent rights," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 51080, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    18. Habib, Michel Antoine, 2015. "Multifaceted Transactions, Incentives, and Organizational Form," CEPR Discussion Papers 10432, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    19. Casey Ichniowski & Kathryn L. Shaw, 2009. "Insider Econometrics: Empirical Studies of How Management Matters," NBER Working Papers 15618, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    21. Mariagiovanna Baccara, 2007. "Outsourcing, information leakage, and consulting firms," RAND Journal of Economics, RAND Corporation, vol. 38(1), pages 269-289, March.
    22. Kaouthar Lajili, 2015. "Embedding human capital into governance design: a conceptual framework," Journal of Management & Governance, Springer;Accademia Italiana di Economia Aziendale (AIDEA), vol. 19(4), pages 741-762, November.
    23. Gil, Ricard, 2007. ""Make-or-buy" in movies: Integration and ex-post renegotiation," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 25(4), pages 643-655, August.

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