Scandinavian Working Papers in Economics

INDEK Working Paper Series,
Royal Institute of Technology, Department of Industrial Economics and Management

No 2014/4: Architectural Lock-in of the Drug Development Process

Mats Engwall () and Jonatan Freilich ()
Additional contact information
Mats Engwall: Department of Industrial Economics and Management, Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Postal: Department of Industrial Economics and Management, Royal Institute of Technology, SE-100 44 Stockholm, Sweden
Jonatan Freilich: Department of Industrial Economics and Management, Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Postal: Department of Industrial Economics and Management, Royal Institute of Technology, SE-100 44 Stockholm, Sweden

Abstract: The theory of technological evolution and organizational lock-in are based on an empirical foundation where technology is manifested in a tangible product. However, in industries producing chemicals, services, art, health care, or complex product systems, the technological design of the product has limit explanatory power for understanding technological evolution. Anchored in a case study from the pharmaceutical industry, this paper addresses the significance of the technologies and architecture of the R&D process in order to understand dynamics of innovation and technological evolution in such industries. The case shows how the technology and design of the process architecture shape the content of pharmaceutical R&D, enabling and hindering necessary knowledge creation for product innovation.

Keywords: process architecture; lock-in; technological evolution; drug development

JEL-codes: O31; O31; O32

24 pages, April 8, 2014

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