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Academic collaboration and organizational innovation: the development of research capabilities in the US pharmaceutical industry, 1927--1946

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  • Jeffrey L. Furman
  • Megan MacGarvie

Abstract

This article investigates the historical conditions that contributed to the birth of in-house research and development (R&D) capabilities in the early US pharmaceutical industry by examining qualitative and quantitative data on university--industry interaction between the 1920s and 1940s. This evidence suggests that labor markets, collaborative research, and contract research were the principal mechanisms by which early university science contributed to the development of in-house research capabilities in the emerging US pharmaceutical industry. This article further demonstrates a pattern in which firms with lesser R&D capabilities were generally constrained to work with local partners, while firms with greater internal R&D capabilities primarily engaged local partners for smaller-scale projects requiring generalist skills and distant partners for larger-scale efforts and extraordinary projects. We conclude by examining the implications of collaboration for those firms that did engage university academic partners. Our findings suggest that pharmaceutical firms that collaborated with universities during this period achieved higher rates of patenting and laboratory growth. Copyright 2009 The Author 2009. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of Associazione ICC. All rights reserved., Oxford University Press.

Suggested Citation

  • Jeffrey L. Furman & Megan MacGarvie, 2009. "Academic collaboration and organizational innovation: the development of research capabilities in the US pharmaceutical industry, 1927--1946," Industrial and Corporate Change, Oxford University Press, vol. 18(5), pages 929-961, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:oup:indcch:v:18:y:2009:i:5:p:929-961
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    File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1093/icc/dtp035
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    Cited by:

    1. Mowery, David C. & Ziedonis, Arvids A., 2015. "Markets versus spillovers in outflows of university research," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 50-66.
    2. Subramanian, Annapoornima M. & Lim, Kwanghui & Soh, Pek-Hooi, 2013. "When birds of a feather don’t flock together: Different scientists and the roles they play in biotech R&D alliances," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(3), pages 595-612.
    3. Bodas Freitas, Isabel Maria & Marques, Rosane Argou & Silva, Evando Mirra de Paula e, 2013. "University–industry collaboration and innovation in emergent and mature industries in new industrialized countries," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(2), pages 443-453.
    4. Soh, Pek-Hooi & Subramanian, Annapoornima M., 2014. "When do firms benefit from university–industry R&D collaborations? The implications of firm R&D focus on scientific research and technological recombination," Journal of Business Venturing, Elsevier, vol. 29(6), pages 807-821.

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