Persistent Knowledge Specialisation and Intra-Industry Heterogeneity: an Analysis of the Spanish Pharmaceutical Industry
This paper aims to contribute to the analysis of within industry inter-firm variety. Building upon the knowledge-based theory of the firm (Nelson and Winter, 1982; Penrose, 1959; Fransman, 1994), this paper develops two themes. First, the analysis of intra-industry heterogeneity: why do firms that operate in the same industry differ, and why are such differences persistent? Second, the paper investigates the extent to which higher performance is associated with the capacity of firms to expand their knowledge base (rather than with their initial conditions). The main contribution of the paper is empirical, based on a data source consisting of information on documents published in scientific international journals by Spanish pharmaceutical firms. The empirical results support the argument that the firm's knowledge base is a main driver of persistent heterogeneity within industries on the one hand, because of the systematic variety in terms of how firms articulate and organise their research activities and their background knowledge, and on the other hand, because of the positive correlation between the firms' knowledge diversification and performance.
|Date of creation:||01 Jan 2004|
|Date of revision:|
|Publication status:||Published in Research Policy, Volume 34, Number 1, 2005, pp.33-45. (New Title: How do Firms' Knowledge Bases Affect Intra- Industry Heterogeneity? An Analysis of the Spanish Pharmaceutical Industry)|
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