Biotechnology Organizations in Action - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9780444510358, 9780080528168

Biotechnology Organizations in Action, Volume 20

1st Edition

Turning Knowledge into Business

Authors: J. Norus
Hardcover ISBN: 9780444510358
eBook ISBN: 9780080528168
Imprint: Elsevier Science
Published Date: 6th March 2002
Page Count: 240
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Table of Contents


Part 1 Introduction.

  1. From life sciences to organization sociology. 1.0 What the book is not about! 1.1 An overview of the studies on the biotechnology industry. 1.2 The constitution of a new technological field. 1.3 The research method. 1.4 Outline of the book.
  2. The history of the biotechnology industry. 2.0 Introduction. 2.1 The conceptual struggle. 2.2 The research field of biological engineering - an enabling technology. 2.3 The industrial application of new biotechnologies. 2.4 The development of competencies - cross-fertilizing of processes and techniques. 2.5 Network formation and resource dependency.Part II Construction
  3. The biotechnology community. 3.0 Introduction. 3.1 The theoretical aspects of the systems approach. 3.2 The biotechnology community - introduction of the actors. 3.3 Strategies among biotechnology firms. 3.4 The role of universities - from knowledge generators to profit makers. 3.5 Technology parks - incubators of biotechnology. 3.6 Public regulatory bodies - a balance between restriction, approval and promotion. 3.7 Venture capital - the noble art of balancing between altruism and cannibalism. 3.8 Pharmaceutical and chemical firms - the late adopters. 3.9 Summary. Part III Reconstruction.
  4. Theoretical aspects of strategies and networks. 4.0 An organizational perspective on strategies and networks - shifting the level of analysis. 4.1 The organization of technological search and learning. 4.2 The internal organization - dominating coalitions and the formation of routines. 4.3 Firms in networks - the external relations. 4.4 Networking activities - types and backgrounds. 4.5 Strategic behavior and the formation of networks - a summary.
  5. The co-evolution of strategies and networks - designing the case studies. 5.0 Introduction. 5.1 The parallel and intertwined processes of network formation. 5.2 Designing the case studies of the three types of strategies. 5.3 The conceptualization of the empirical field. 5.4 On the track - what next?Part IV Reconstruction.
  6. The project strategy. 6.0 Introduction. 6.1 The history of the firm. 6.2 Phase I: Kem-En-Tec 1983-1993. 6.3 Phase II Establishing subsidiaries. 6.4 The future of Kem-En-Tec - the problem of the project strategy. 6.5 The new future of an experimenting firm - the 2001 update. 6.6 Conclusion - the project strategy a question of "exits".
  7. The incremental strategy. 7.0 Introduction. 7.1 AndCare, Inc. 7.2 ThermoGen Inc. 7.3 Conclusion on the incremental strategy.
  8. The vertical integration strategy. 8.0 Introduction. 8.1 Calgene, Inc. 8.2 Incyte Genomics, Inc. 8.3 Conclusion of the vertical integration strategy.Part V Conclusion.
  9. The role of the biotechnological industries. 9.0 Introduction. 9.1 From industrial sociology to organizational sociology. 9.2 Strategy and networks - a mating dance. 9.3 The entrepreneurial strategies revisited. 9.4 The managerial aspects of the network processes. 9.5 The neo-schumpeterian strategies.
  10. The constitution of technological fields. 10.0 The theoretical ambition of the study revisited. 10.1 The embeddedness of routines, communities of practice, and technological systems. 10.2 The role of organizational routines. 10.3 The role of communities of practice. 10.4 The role of technological systems. 10.5 Four entrepreneurial abilities in the constitution of technological fields. References. List of interviews.


This volume analyzes the dynamics and interactive processes among the players (individuals, institutions, and organizations/firms) that have constituted and legitimized the development of the biotechnology industries. The unit of analysis is small entrepreneurial firms developing biotechnological products and processes. What types of strategies are small entrepreneurs pursuing in order to create markets for their new products and processes, and how have specific strategies emerged? The primary interest is the network process through which the technological field and the development of institutions and routines evolve and co-evolve.

The theoretical contribution of the book is its focus on the development of the concept of networks. From being regarded as a relative static concept the book transforms the concept into a dynamic concept of networking. The dynamic view on the creation and development of new technologies through network formations is linked to the concept of strategy that is used throughout the book. Hence the strategies are developed along with the creation of technological knowledge, and it is hoped that the diffusion of this specific knowledge will bring new actors into the technological arena or community.

This book will be useful to the academic community, those studying the formation of networks, strategic management, organizational behavior, and management of technology, as well as business observers with a specific interest in the evolution of the biotechnology industry.


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About the Authors

J. Norus Author

Affiliations and Expertise

Associate Professor, Department of Organization and Industrial Sociology, Copenhagen Business School, Solbjerg Plads 3, DK-2000 Frederiksberg, Denmark