Sourcing knowledge: R&D outsourcing in UK pharmaceuticals

Jeremy Howells*, Dimitri Gagliardi, Khaleel Malik

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The outsourcing of research and development (R&D) activities has grown rapidly in recent years. Outsourcing has major implications for how knowledge and R&D activities are organised and coordinated in a wider open innovation environment and creates major challenges for firms and their managers. This paper explores the implications of outsourcing and the increasingly distributed nature of research and innovative activities using primary survey data collected from the UK pharmaceutical industry. These issues are uniquely examined at both firm and activity level. This paper then seeks to set the findings of the study within the context of the wider debate and conceptual frameworks surrounding R&D outsourcing and offshoring in terms of the increasingly open and distributed nature of research operations. This paper concludes by exploring the implications for this for firm strategy and the open innovation agenda and for future research in this field.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)139-161
Number of pages23
JournalInternational Journal of Technology Management
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 14 Jun 2012


  • Knowledge management
  • Pharmaceuticals research
  • R&D outsourcing
  • UK


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