Building Organizational and Scientific Platforms in the Pharmaceutical Industry: A Process Perspective on the Development of Dynamic Capabilities

16 Pages Posted: 27 Apr 2009

Abstract

In this paper, we examine the process of dynamic capability development in a large pharmaceutical firm. Using interviews with multiple managers at different organizational levels, we developed two narratives of the process of developing two separate dynamic capabilities in the same firm. We focus on three areas that prior research has shown to be critical in the early stages of the process of implementing new strategic initiatives: the cognitive orientations of key personnel, managerial action undertaken within the firm, and the firm's internal and external contexts. We provide evidence that managers undertake specific initiatives based on their own particular cognitive orientations, and that senior managers play a major role in the development of capabilities by imprinting the organization with their specific cognitive orientation and then orchestrating the multilevel organizational routines necessary for actualization of a capability. These replicable actions by senior management during the early stages of capability development can lead to the development of a capability that is not initially in the cognitive frames of lower level employees. Finally, we will show that internal and external contingencies have a profound impact on the decision to develop a capability, and to discontinue its development. Our findings thus suggest that the process of developing new capabilities shares common elements with other strategic initiatives.

Suggested Citation

Narayanan, V. K. and Colwell, Ken and Douglas, Frank L., Building Organizational and Scientific Platforms in the Pharmaceutical Industry: A Process Perspective on the Development of Dynamic Capabilities. British Journal of Management, Vol. 20, Issue s1, pp. S25-S40, March 2009. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1375868 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1467-8551.2008.00611.x

V. K. Narayanan (Contact Author)

Drexel University - LeBow College of Business ( email )

3141 Chestnut Street
Philadelphia, PA 19104
United States
215-895-6763 (Phone)

Ken Colwell

CCSU School of Business ( email )

1615 Stanley Street
New Britain, CT 06050
United States

HOME PAGE: http://Www.ken-colwell.com

Frank L. Douglas

Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation ( email )

4801 Rockhill Road
Kansas City, MO 64110-2046
United States
8169321204 (Phone)

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