Free Access
Volume 14, Number 3, 2000
Page(s) 229 - 270
DOI: 10.1051/ejess:2000119

European Journal of Economic and Social Systems 14 N$^\circ$ 3 (2000) pp. 229-270

Innovation networks and competitive coalitions in the pharmaceutical industry: The emergence and structures of a new industrial organization

Marc-Hubert Depret1 - Abdelillah Hamdouch2

1IFRESI-CLERSE, Université de Lille I, Faculté des Sciences Économiques et Sociales, 2 rue des Canonniers, 59800 Lille, France
2CLERSE, Faculté des Sciences Économiques et Sociales, Université de Lille I, et MATISSE-CRIFES, Université de Paris I, Maison des Sciences Économiques, 106-112 boulevard de l'Hôpital, 75647 Paris Cedex 13, France


Today, the pharmaceutical industry is subjected to wide-scale technological, institutional and economic changes that bring about a radical reconfiguration of the structural parameters and strategic variables of competition. While innovation processes are being increasingly structured around a new paradigm and markets are being both globalized and fragmented, firms are attempting to adapt, above all by refocusing their businesses and by redefining all the links in their value chain. However, the most significant changes in their strategy lie in the conception of their horizontal and vertical relations. The competitive game has a tendency to being extended to phases upstream market competition, to be reconfigured in the form of intra and inter-coalitions and networks strategic games, and to quickly evolve along with technological innovations, the opening of new market "frontiers'' and successive concentration operations. The pharmaceutical industry thus constitutes a sort of life-size "laboratory'' for an in-depth analysis of the effects of radical institutional and technological changes on the new shapes of competitive structuring within markets undergoing rapid globalization, and of the "spontaneous'' emergence of a new form of industrial organization.

Keywords: New biotechnology applied to health, institutional and technological changes, competitive coalitions, globalization, pharmaceutical industry, innovation, interfirm networks

Correspondence and reprints: Marc-Hubert Depret

Copyright EDP Sciences 2000