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