A framework for managing knowledge in strategic alliances in the biotechnology sector
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Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Biotechnology is a rapidly expanding field of science that has led to the formation of alarge number of companies that together form a significant sector within the Australianeconomy. Even though there has been considerable growth in the Australian biotechnologysector as a whole, a large percentage of Australian biotechnology firms are small andmedium sized enterprises (SMEs) that suffer from a lack of funding and expertise. Thedevelopment and management of effective strategic alliances are critical to the success anddevelopment of biotechnology firms as they provide opportunities to share resourcesand expertise, access funding and develop new ideas. However, developing and managingstrategic alliances is fraught with difficulties which are compounded by size andresource asymmetries and the nature of the biotechnology market. In this paper, weidentify the difficulties faced by biotechnology firms and examine the importance ofknowledge management related to alliance formation and development with specialreference to the Australian context. We examine the knowledge and expertise that arerequired to be effective in developing strategic alliances in the biotechnology sector andprovide a framework for managing knowledge related to strategic alliances. We suggestthat critical systems approaches, in particular creative holism, are needed to manage thevarious forms of knowledge associated with strategic alliances.
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