Management control in biomedical research and pharmaceutical innovation

Simon Willem Frederik Omta


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    This monograph concentrates on the research floor level, the research unit (the professors with their scientific, technical, analytical and administrative staff in universities, or the department heads with their staff in institutes), and the system of research units which together form the R&D process in industry. What are the secrets of the best performing units? Is it only the brilliancy of the supervisor(s), or are there other factors dividing the outstanding from the average performers? In industry questions arise about the coordination and structuring of the R&D process. How is optimal coordination achieved if one part of the R&D process is carried out in the USA, whereas at the same time another part is done in France. And how do we get coordination if in a multi-centred clinical trial the same study design must be followed by physicians in Norway, France, and Germany? This study is based on a comparative study of 40 biomedical research units in 8 medical faculties, and 17 research units in 5 large Health Research Institutes in the Netherlands. This is combined with the findings of a European survey of the main R&D laboratories of 14 large and medium sized pharmaceutical companies. Unfortunately, this book will not give you the definite answers. In the world of research it is often unknown what is cause and what is effect. For instance, if is found that an outstanding research unit has many international contacts, is this then one of the causes of its excellency? By communicating intensively with colleagues abroad, researchers do get a better idea of what is new and interesting in their research field. Or is it an effect of excellency?. The outstanding research units may attract more attention from the scientific community, for instance, in the form of proposals for cooperative projects or presentations at international congresses as the institution behind a keynote speaker. Or is it cause and effect simultaneously? The latter could very well be the case. In many places in this book, reinforcement loops such as, doing good research, getting interesting results, attaining more attention from the outside world, getting more international contacts, developing more innovative ideas etc., will be encountered. If it were possible to provide clear-cut relationships, then management would be (or become) a formalistic system, which would eliminate the need for scientific enquiry. The fact that it is not leads us to the second unfortunate point. At the very moment the secrets of success are revealed, they no longer apply. A certain strategy which is a competitive advantage for the few, will turn into its opposite if it is used by all. Therefore, it might sometimes be better to proceed in the opposite direction than the one which is suggested by the empirical data. Although this book does not provide the reader with clear-cut relationships, it does provide him or her with a comprehensive list of features which separate the outstanding from the average research laboratories. Discussions with research managers in the strata universities, institutes and company laboratories revealed that most of the suggestions were judged fruitful for everyday management. This book is aimed at research managers at different levels in universities, institutes and companies. Policy makers in the field of research and experimental development may also find useful ideas and concepts in it. Researchers in the field of management studies may be interested in the research model and the interpretation framework used. Because the field of management and organization is a broad one, all of the methods and techniques presented will not be appropriate for the individual reader. Still it can be assured that it contains sufficient relevant information for his or her purpose.
    Originele taal-2English
    KwalificatieDoctor of Philosophy
    • Bouter, L.M., Supervisor, Externe Persoon
    • van Engelen, Johannes, Supervisor
    Datum van toekenning15-jun-1995
    Plaats van publicatieGroningen
    StatusPublished - 1995


    • Proefschriften (vorm)
    • Farmaceutische industrie
    • Onderzoeksinstellingen
    • Biomedisch onderzoek
    • Management control systems
    • 44.42
    • 44.05

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