Very early in the history of biotechnology (about 1979), Monsanto made a big commitment to move in this area. This case tells the story from the perspective of the great scientist hired to lead the corporate communications R & D. He took Monsanto from a very traditional agricultural chemicals technological base to one of the world’s top biotechnology centers and oversaw the purchase of Searle Pharmaceuticals. Raises a number of questions: How can a company move into a completely new technology? What are t … Read more »

Very early in the history of biotechnology (about 1979), Monsanto made a big commitment to move in this area. This case tells the story from the perspective of the great scientist hired to lead the corporate communications R & D. He took Monsanto from a very traditional agricultural chemicals technological base to one of the world’s top biotechnology centers and oversaw the purchase of Searle Pharmaceuticals. Raises a number of questions: How can a company move into a completely new technology? What are the pros and cons of sourcing technology from small companies and universities? How should research be organized? Emphasizes the very long-term perspective that Monsanto took to justify their huge investment.
«Hide

from
Dorothy Leonard-Barton,
Gary P. Pisano
Source: Harvard Business School
17 pages.
Publication Date: Jan 29, 1990. Prod #: 690009-PDF-ENG
Monsanto’s March into Biotechnology (A) HBR case solution