Responding to a potentially disruptive technology: how big pharma embraced biotechnology

Birkinshaw, J, Visnjic, I and Best, S (2018) Responding to a potentially disruptive technology: how big pharma embraced biotechnology. California Management Review, 60 (4). pp. 74-100. ISSN 0008-1256

Abstract

How do incumbent firms respond over time to a potentially disruptive technology? This article documents the strategies of 12 large pharmaceutical firms over 25 years as they addressed the opportunity/threat of biotechnology. All showed awareness of biotechnology’s potential, but their response profiles varied dramatically in terms of timing (early/late) and focus (external/internal). Late movers mostly made large acquisitions to “catch up,” but early movers maintained their lead in terms of biotechnology-based drug sales and profitability, and those with a more “open” response profile performed better. This response involves a three-step process: building awareness (sensing), building capability (responding), and building commitment (scaling).

More Details

Item Type: Article
Subject Areas: Strategy and Entrepreneurship
Subjects: S > Strategic planning
P > Pharmaceutical industry
O > Organisational development
A > Acquisition
Date Deposited: 28 May 2019 16:21
Last Modified: 02 Sep 2019 15:35
URI: http://lbsresearch.london.edu/id/eprint/986
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