Combining Resource Based and Evolutionary Theory: A Synthesis applied to Bio-Enterprise Networks

Garnsey, Elizabeth 
Leong, Yuen Yoong 

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This paper explores ways in which new ventures not only adapt to but can transform their own business environment. It proposes a new way to combine evolutionary and Penrosian resource-based theories. A parallel is drawn between the proactive response to resource shortfalls and under-use in the Penrosian firm and the way entrepreneurial participants in innovative networks can build complementary capability. Two case studies of biopharm ventures show how participants cumulatively altered prevailing business conditions and selection processes. The approach shows how evolutionary theory can be used to identify overlooked connections and clarify overlooked causal processes that have collective effects. How entrepreneurial activity lays the basis for further innovation is revealed by an analysis with the wider potential to bridge evolutionary and resource based approaches.

Biopharmaceutical networks; the entrepreneurial firm; resourcebased theory; evolutionary theory