NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Amalya Lumerman Oliver

Hebrew University

NBER Working Papers and Publications

October 1995Social Networks, Learning, and Flexibility: Sourcing Scientific Knowledge in New Biotechnology Firms
with Julia Porter Liebeskind, Lynne G. Zucker, Marilynn B. Brewer: w5320
We examine how two highly successful new biotechnology firms (NBFs) source their most critical input -- scientific knowledge. We find that scientists at the two NBFs enter into large numbers of collaborative research efforts with scientists at other organizations, especially universities. Formal market contracts are rarely used to govern these exchanges of scientific knowledge. Our findings suggest that the use of boundary-spanning social networks by the two NBFs increases both their learning and their flexibility in ways that would not be possible within a self-contained hierarchical organization.

Published:

  • Starbuck, William H. and Suzanne G. Tilleman. (eds.) Organizational Learning and Knowledge Management. Volume 3. Learning by Populations of Organizations, Elgar Reference Collection. International Library of Critical Writings on Business and Management, vol. 9. Cheltenham, U.K. and Northampton, Mass.: Elgar, 2008.
  • Julia Porter Liebeskind & Amalya Lumerman Oliver & Lynne Zucker & Marilynn Brewer, 1996. "Social networks, Learning, and Flexibility: Sourcing Scientific Knowledge in New Biotechnology Firms," Organization Science, vol 7(4), pages 428-443.

 
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