The environment within which the pharmaceutical industry is operating is dynamic and highly competitive. Government cost‐ cutting in healthcare, the rise of generic drugs, increasing R&D costs and depreciating patent lives are having important effects upon the sector (Sharp 1991). Recent years have witnessed a wave of takeover, merger and restructuring. The need to discover, develop and market drugs rapidly is greater than ever before. Consequently, high performance is seen as vital both by analysts of the sector and by managers in the company which forms the subject of this paper. This is not unproblematic in a research‐ based industry, there may be conflicts between short‐term and long‐term objectives and there is no simple relationship between individual high performance and high performance as an organisation.
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