The Impact of Firm Size and Age on Knowledge Strategies During Product Development: A Study of the Drug Delivery Industry

Posted: 9 Nov 2009

See all articles by Shanthi Gopalakrishnan

Shanthi Gopalakrishnan

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Paul E. Bierly

James Madison University - College of Business

Date Written: 2006

Abstract

Using a knowledge-based view of organizations,this study examines the effects of firm size and age on the type of knowledgestrategies used to build technological strength and competitive success, in thedrug delivery sector of the pharmaceutical industry. Two research questions are pursued: (1) whether firm size and age affect thepreferred knowledge strategies of firms; and (2) whether the impact ofknowledge strategies on competitive success varies by firm size and age. Datafrom secondary sources were compiled on 27 companies in the drug deliveryindustry; patent data were used for most measures. Measures were obtained forlearning speed, external/internal source of knowledge, technological strength,and firm size and age. It was found that differences in knowledge strategy factors were not relatedto firm size and age as much as had been expected. It was also found that firmsthat used knowledge strategies appropriate for their size and age optimizedtheir technological strength. Smaller firms that focused on faster learning anddeveloping a narrow knowledge base optimized technological strength. Largefirms that developed a broader knowledge base and focused on internal learningalso optimized technological strength. It was also found that younger firmsmaintaining connections to external sources of learning and developingnarrower, niche-based knowledge likewise optimized technological strength.(TNM)

Keywords: Pharmaceutical industry, Firm size, Firm age, Competitive advantages, Organizational learning, Knowledge management, Product development, Information sources

Suggested Citation

Gopalakrishnan, Shanthi and Bierly, Paul E., The Impact of Firm Size and Age on Knowledge Strategies During Product Development: A Study of the Drug Delivery Industry (2006). University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign's Academy for Entrepreneurial Leadership Historical Research Reference in Entrepreneurship, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1502006

Shanthi Gopalakrishnan (Contact Author)

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Paul E. Bierly

James Madison University - College of Business ( email )

ZSH 541
Harrisonburg, VA 22807
United States
540-568-3236 (Phone)

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