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Strategic risk-management using complementary assets: organizational capabilities and the commercialization of human genetic testing in the UK

By Michael M Hopkins and Paul Nightingale


Teece's complementary asset framework explains how firms use assets to appropriate the benefits of innovation. This paper extends Teece's framework to show how firms also use complementary assets to disappropriate the risks of technical change. Based on case studies of the commercialisation of genetic testing in the UK the paper shows how firms can strategically alter the social distribution of risk to their advantage by managing distinct types of risk using different institutions with diverse risk management capabilities. We highlight the specific risk management capabilities of the state that are not available to either firms or markets, and their role in supporting technical change. Implications for policy and the academic understanding of technical change are discussed

Publisher: Elsevier
Year: 2006
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