Title: The formation of subsequent inter-firm R&D partnerships between large pharmaceutical companies and small, entrepreneurial biotechnology firms – how important is inter-organisational trust?

Authors: John Hagedoorn, Nadine Roijakkers, Hans Van Kranenburg

Addresses: MERIT and Department of Organisation and Strategy, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Maastricht University, P.O. Box 616, 6200 MD Maastricht, The Netherlands. ' Organisation Science and Marketing (OSM), Department of Technology Management (TM), TU/e Technische Universiteit Eindhoven, P.O. Box 513, 5600 MB Eindhoven, The Netherlands. ' Nijmegen School of Management, Radboud University Nijmegen, P.O. Box 9108, 9500 HK Nijmegen, The Netherlands

Abstract: This paper analyses the role of inter-organisational trust in pharmaceutical biotechnology, an industry characterised by a strong dual market structure. Our main finding is that repeated ties in pairs of large pharmaceutical companies and small, entrepreneurial biotechnology firms, which indicate inter-organisational trust, have a negative effect on subsequent partnering. An explanation for this result is found in specific conditions for R&D partnering in this high-technology dual market structure. Partnerships between a small number of very large companies and a large group of dependent small companies are not characterised by mutual dependence and inter-organisational trust.

Keywords: R&D partnerships; research and development; large firms; pharmaceutical companies; small firms; entrepreneurship; biotechnology firms; inter-organisational trust; high technology; high-tech markets; dual market structure.

DOI: 10.1504/IJTM.2008.020699

International Journal of Technology Management, 2008 Vol.44 No.1/2, pp.81 - 92

Published online: 12 Oct 2008 *

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