Date of Conferral



Doctor of Business Administration (D.B.A.)


Business Administration


Warren Lesser


US pharmaceutical company leaders who lack strategies for developing and implementing open innovation (OI) Research & Development (R&D) projects may experience weakened competitive positioning in the industry. Grounded in the open innovation capability framework, the purpose of this qualitative single case study was to explore implementation strategies R&D directors use to implement OI R&D projects in the US. Participants were five US pharmaceutical R&D directors from a single organization. Data were collected using semistructured interviews, public information, and OI literature and analyzed using Castleberry and Nolen’s five-step model. Four themes emerged: roles and responsibilities, business and OI strategy alignment, leadership attention, and OI decision-making. A key recommendation for pharmaceutical R&D directors is to develop a clear OI strategy aligned with the business strategy and assemble two teams, a search and evaluation team and an alliance management team, to help identify and assimilate OI projects. Positive social change implications include the potential for pharmaceutical leaders using more efficient methods of R&D, resulting in the discovery and development of novel therapeutics at a lower cost to patients, making it more affordable to improve their quality of life.