The Relationship of Industry Structure to Open Innovation: Cooperative Value Creation in Pharmaceutical Consortia

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Open innovation, Value creation, Pharmaceuticals, Collaboration

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Daniels College of Business, Management


With its focus on value creation and value capture, open innovation research explicitly or implicitly examines the competitive impacts of collaboration. However, to date such research has not considered the effects of a blockbuster industry structure upon open innovation. Here, we examine a particular form of multilateral collaboration, the open R&D consortium, in which the results from collaboration are allowed to spill over to members and nonmembers alike. We do so in the context of the pharmaceutical industry, a stable but fragmented industry defined by the ongoing search for blockbuster hits protected by strong appropriability. Using a novel data set, we identify 141 such consortia that involve two or more of the 30 largest pharma firms. We show that firms financially support such consortia, in part, because their value creation activities benefit members without disrupting the value capture or other aspects of the incumbent industry structure. We discuss the implications of these findings for research on multilateral collaboration in blockbuster industries, and open innovation more generally.

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