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Technological knowledge base, R&D organization structure and alliance formation: Evidence from the biopharmaceutical industry

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  • Zhang, Jing
  • Baden-Fuller, Charles
  • Mangematin, Vincent

Abstract

We explore how an incumbent firm's internal knowledge and organization structure influences its strategic alliance formation. We propose that the firm's knowledge breadth and the centrality of its R&D organization structure positively influence its absorptive capacity, and consequently, its propensity to form strategic alliances. We also argue that the centrality of the R&D organization structure may be a substitute for the breadth of the knowledge base. We validate our ideas using data on 2647 strategic alliances formed over the period of 1993–2002 by 43 major biopharmaceutical firms in the U.S. and Europe. Our discussion focuses on the application of the knowledge-based view of the firm to strategic alliance research. The implications for public policy in the biopharmaceutical industry are also emphasized.
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  • Zhang, Jing & Baden-Fuller, Charles & Mangematin, Vincent, 2007. "Technological knowledge base, R&D organization structure and alliance formation: Evidence from the biopharmaceutical industry," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(4), pages 515-528, May.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:respol:v:36:y:2007:i:4:p:515-528
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    Cited by:

    1. Suominen, Arho & Toivanen, Hannes & Seppänen, Marko, 2017. "Firms' knowledge profiles: Mapping patent data with unsupervised learning," Technological Forecasting and Social Change, Elsevier, vol. 115(C), pages 131-142.
    2. Chantale Mailhot & Stephanie Gagnon & François Normandin, 2010. "Managing A Plurality Of Interests And Collective Values," Portuguese Journal of Management Studies, ISEG, Universidade de Lisboa, vol. 0(3), pages 281-301.
    3. Nooteboom, Bart & Van Haverbeke, Wim & Duysters, Geert & Gilsing, Victor & van den Oord, Ad, 2007. "Optimal cognitive distance and absorptive capacity," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(7), pages 1016-1034, September.
    4. Lichtenthaler, Ulrich, 2010. "Determinants of proactive and reactive technology licensing: A contingency perspective," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 39(1), pages 55-66, February.
    5. Braganza, Ashley & Brooks, Laurence & Nepelski, Daniel & Ali, Maged & Moro, Russ, 2017. "Resource management in big data initiatives: Processes and dynamic capabilities," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 70(C), pages 328-337.
    6. Isabel M. Bodas Freitas & Aldo Geuna & Federica Rossi, 2012. "The governance of formal university--industry interactions: understanding the rationales for alternative models," Prometheus, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 30(1), pages 29-45, March.
    7. Mc Namara, Peter & Baden-Fuller, Charles, 2007. "Shareholder returns and the exploration-exploitation dilemma: R&D announcements by biotechnology firms," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(4), pages 548-565, May.
    8. Hohberger, Jan & Almeida, Paul & Parada, Pedro, 2015. "The direction of firm innovation: The contrasting roles of strategic alliances and individual scientific collaborations," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 44(8), pages 1473-1487.
    9. Ipsita Roy, 2015. "Role of Human Resource Practices in Absorptive Capacity and R&D Cooperation," Jena Economic Research Papers 2015-018, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
    10. Kwak, Jooyoung & Lee, Heejin & Chung, Do Bum, 2012. "The evolution of alliance structure in China’s mobile telecommunication industry and implications for international standardization," Telecommunications Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(10), pages 966-976.
    11. repec:rge:journl:v:5:y:2017:i:2:p:1-22 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. repec:wsi:ijimxx:v:21:y:2017:i:01:n:s1363919617500013 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Camisón, César & Forés, Beatriz, 2010. "Knowledge absorptive capacity: New insights for its conceptualization and measurement," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 63(7), pages 707-715, July.
    14. repec:eee:respol:v:47:y:2018:i:3:p:623-636 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Avenel, E. & Favier, A.V. & Ma, S. & Mangematin, V. & Rieu, C., 2007. "Diversification and hybridization in firm knowledge bases in nanotechnologies," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 36(6), pages 864-870, July.
    16. repec:bla:stratm:v:38:y:2017:i:11:p:2298-2309 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. repec:hal:journl:hal-00424531 is not listed on IDEAS
    18. Haeussler, Carolin & Patzelt, Holger & Zahra, Shaker A., 2012. "Strategic alliances and product development in high technology new firms: The moderating effect of technological capabilities," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 27(2), pages 217-233.
    19. Mohammad Saleh Farazi & Ana Pérez-Luño & Shanthi Gopalakrishnan, 2016. "How Can Knowledge Structuration Serve Strategic Goals? A Theory For Technology Firms," Working Papers 16.01, Universidad Pablo de Olavide, Department of Business Organization and Marketing (former Department of Business Administration), revised Jun 2016.
    20. Gunno Park & Jina Kang, 2014. "Effect of Alliance Experience on New Alliance Formations and Internal R&D Capabilities," TEMEP Discussion Papers 2014119, Seoul National University; Technology Management, Economics, and Policy Program (TEMEP), revised Sep 2014.
    21. Todd Davey & Sue Rossano & Peter Sijde, 2016. "Does context matter in academic entrepreneurship? The role of barriers and drivers in the regional and national context," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 41(6), pages 1457-1482, December.
    22. Jing Zhang & Charles Baden-Fuller, 2010. "The Influence of Technological Knowledge Base and Organizational Structure on Technology Collaboration," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 47(4), pages 679-704, June.
    23. Kwangsoo Shin & Sang Ji Kim & Gunno Park, 2016. "How does the partner type in R&D alliances impact technological innovation performance? A study on the Korean biotechnology industry," Asia Pacific Journal of Management, Springer, vol. 33(1), pages 141-164, March.
    24. Garcia Martinez, Marian & Zouaghi, Ferdaous & Sanchez Garcia, Mercedes, 2017. "Capturing value from alliance portfolio diversity: The mediating role of R&D human capital in high and low tech industries," Technovation, Elsevier, vol. 59(C), pages 55-67.

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