The Quest for Competitive Sustainability: From Technology Sourcing to Knowledge Management

Arsia Amir-Aslani


This study undertakes an analysis of external sourcing of knowledge by biotechnology companies. It suggests that biotechnology companies need to be more realistic about R&D operational models in a context where technological changes are only incremental and companies based solely on single technology platforms are highly inefficient. It is argued that in order to build, preserve or enhance their knowledge creation capabilities in a fast changing environment, firms increasingly combine internal ‘‘core’’ capabilities with externally acquired ‘‘complementary’’ ones. Knowledge creation requires in reaching the right balance between exploration and exploitation. It consists of activities within the firm in order to create knowledge from its own experience and from the experience of other firms, and on the exploitation of that knowledge to fulfill the mission of the firm. Thus, a biotechnology company’s ability to choose technologies wisely will have a large impact on the performance of its R&D organization in terms of time to market, productivity, and product quality.


technology sourcing; organizational learning; competitive dynamics; innovation; biotechnology; knowledge management.

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