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Building Innovation Networks in Biotechnology Industries

2006 , Brauer, Matthias , Müller-Stewens, Günter , Blecker, Thorsten , Gemünden, Hans Georg

This paper aims at developing a tentative guideline for managers of biotech firms on how to form and design network ties in biotechnology industries by integrating the findings from the analysis of the networking characteristics of the five leading biotechnology firms (Amgen, Biogen, Chiron, Genentech, Genzyme) with extant scholarly research on biotech networks, We derive a set of recommendations on salient process issues such as the timing, duration and design characteristics of both vertical (upstream, downstream) and horizontal network ties. Further, we generate insights into how biotech firms may develop their own organizational networking capability ("networkability") by making networking part of their business strategy, by creating networking-enhancing organizational structures and processes and by instilling network values in the organizational DNA. In doing so, we extend prior contributions on biotech networks and hope to create actionable knowledge for managers on how to build innovation networks.