Alza Corporation (A)

Published 01 Jan 1987
Reference 4244
Topic Marketing
Industry Pharmaceuticals
Region North America
Summary

This is the fourth case in a series of 11, which deals with a technological partnership between a large firm (Ciba-Geigy) and a small firm (Alza). It covers a period of about eight years: from 1977 until 1984. The first cases describe the pharmaceutical industry, the two companies, and the events leading up to the partnership opportunity. The following cases analyse the structure of the agreement and the evolving actual functioning of the partnership between 1978 and 1981. The final cases describe the dissolution of the partnership in 1982, and the longer-term consequences of the partnership for each company.

Teaching objectives

The general objective of the case series is to provide an opportunity for discussing the generic issues arising in technological partnerships between large and small companies. Specific objectives are: (1) to provide an understanding of the reasons for technological partnerships between large and small companies; (2) to allow participants to design an interface structure for a partnership; (3) to develop an understanding of the role of different management tools in partnership effectiveness, and to provide practice in diagnosing a concrete partnership situation and suggesting remedial action to enhance effectiveness; (4) to understand the causes of conflicts in partnerships; (5) to provide practice in assessing whether a partnership is sustainable; (6) to understand the problems involved in terminating a partnership; (7) to provide an opportunity for evaluating the success of a partnership and for understanding the factors which influence partnership success.

Keywords
  • AR1987
  • USA
  • Pharmaceutical industry
  • Small company
  • 1977-1981