Title: The role of global R&D networks in generating social capital for born-global bio-tech firms: a multi-case approach

Authors: Amon Simba

Addresses: Division of Management, Nottingham Business School, Nottingham Trent University, NG1 4BU, Nottingham, UK

Abstract: The traditionally auspicious 'Big Pharma' business model in the pharmaceutical industry is rapidly evolving. Large pharmaceutical companies are re-configuring their business models to achieve operational efficiency. The preferred option appears to be out-sourcing science-related R&D as opposed to conducting the research in-house. This has marked the 'birth' of born-global bio-tech firms which operate as contract research organisations. The firms are owner-managed by entrepreneurial scientists who generate social capital in the form of scientific knowledge and technical know-how by participating in multifarious global R&D networks. In that sense, this empirical study utilises multiple cases of born-global bio-tech firms sampled from the East Midlands in the UK to investigate how various mechanisms in their knowledge supply-chain (global networks), including complex business and social relationships, shape their social capital generating strategies. By doing so, the study contributes to the concept of dynamic capabilities and networking. The study is also invaluable to a number of stakeholders including: large and small firms, other researchers, and policy makers.

Keywords: born globals; global R&D networks; innovative capabilities; ecosystems; knowledge supply chain; social capital; research and development; biotech firms; biotechnology industry; pharmaceutical industry; contract research organisations; entrepreneurial scientists; entrepreneurship; UK; United Kingdom; business relationships; social relationships; networking; innovation.

DOI: 10.1504/IJESB.2013.056894

International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business, 2013 Vol.20 No.3, pp.342 - 362

Published online: 30 Apr 2014 *

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