Edited by Maureen McKelvey, Annika Rickne and Jens Laage-Hellman
Chapter 4: The Post-Genome Era: Rupture in the Organization of the Life Science Industry?
4. The post-genome era: rupture in the organization of the life science industry ? Michel Quéré, CNRS-IDEFI; (*) 1. INTRODUCTION This chapter intends to discuss the organizational conditions chosen by ﬁrms to implement innovative behaviours in a speciﬁc context: the life science industry. More speciﬁcally, this chapter is about how the postgenome era (PGE), deﬁned as the scientiﬁc, technological and economic opportunities stemming from the ongoing identiﬁcation of genomes (human and non-human), has to be considered as a matter of rupture in the organization of the life science industry. Section 2 characterizes the major features of that industry and a speciﬁc focus is put on the characteristics of its economic working, contrasting Europe and the USA. From this description, Section 3 elaborates on the importance of the human genome project (HGP) as a mark of transition in the organization of the life science industry. As such, Section 3 makes more explicit the major characteristics of the post-genome era (PGE) and develops the reasons why the latter can be thought of as a structural shock for knowledge dynamics and innovation patterns of ﬁrms acting in that industry. Section 4 develops analytical implications from these recent trends in the evolution of the life science industry. The importance given to ‘innovation networks’ will be stressed by discussing the ‘metamorphosis’ (Penrose 1959/1995, p. xix) in industrial organizations which consists of considering alliances and cooperation as a necessary and essential feature to ensure ﬁrms’ innovation process. Finally, the concluding Section...
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