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Technological learning, strategic flexibility, and new product development in the pharmaceutical industry

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2 Author(s)
Bierly, P.E. ; Sch. of Bus. Admin., Monmouth Univ., West Long Branch, NJ, USA ; Chakrabarti, A.K.

The objective of this study was to better understand strategic management using the dynamic capabilities approach. The authors have focused on two fundamental constructs of dynamic capabilities, technological learning and strategic flexibility, and discerned their influence on organizational performance. Their main argument has been that a firm's strategic flexibility moderates the relationship between technological learning and technological performance as evidenced by new product development. Their model is based on the synthesis of the traditions of research in strategic and technology management. Technological learning has been defined in two dimensions: internal and external learning. Strategic flexibility has been operationalized in financial, marketing, manufacturing, and technological dimensions. Data from the US ethical pharmaceutical industry for 1977-1991 have been used to test their hypotheses. Although they found support for their basic argument, they have observed that the strategic flexibility factors are related with the variables in a more complex way. Furthermore, internal learning involves a different process than learning from external sources. The robustness of their finding is due to the longitudinal data and objective indicators used in measuring the constructs. Implications for further research and managerial actions are also discussed

Published in:

Engineering Management, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:43 ,  Issue: 4 )