NOT YOUR STEPPING STONE: COLLABORATION AND THE DYNAMICS OF FIRM EVOLUTION IN THE LIFE SCIENCES

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Complex Collaboration: Building the Capabilities for Working Across Boundaries

ISBN: 978-0-76231-132-3, eISBN: 978-1-84950-288-7

ISSN: 1572-0977

Publication date: 1 December 2004

Abstract

In this chapter, we make the argument that science-based firms in the life sciences are expected to actively expand the volume and scope of collaborations, and broaden the kinds of partners with whom they collaborate, as they grow larger, older, and become successful. We base our arguments on a general process of organizational learning in which organizations with diverse ties are exposed to a broader stock of knowledge, heterogeneity in the portfolio of collaborators facilitates innovation, and repeat contracting enables organizations to deepen their protocols for the exchange of information and resources. We draw from these ideas the conclusion that interfirm collaboration is not a transitional stage, or stepping stone, to success or maturity, but a significant organizational practice in technologically advanced fields. Extending this argument, we suggest this strategy of interfirm collaboration represents neither dependency nor specialization but an alternative way of accessing knowledge and resources.

Citation

Koput, K. and Powell, W. (2004), "NOT YOUR STEPPING STONE: COLLABORATION AND THE DYNAMICS OF FIRM EVOLUTION IN THE LIFE SCIENCES", Beyerlein, M., Johnson, D. and Beyerlein, S. (Ed.) Complex Collaboration: Building the Capabilities for Working Across Boundaries (Advances in Interdisciplinary Studies of Work Teams, Vol. 10), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 59-81. https://doi.org/10.1016/S1572-0977(04)10003-4

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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