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International Differences in the Business Practices and Productivity of Firms$
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Richard B. Freeman and Kathryn L. Shaw

Print publication date: 2009

Print ISBN-13: 9780226261942

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: February 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226261959.001.0001

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Productivity Differences in an International Pharmaceutical Firm

Productivity Differences in an International Pharmaceutical Firm

(p.173) 6 Productivity Differences in an International Pharmaceutical Firm
International Differences in the Business Practices and Productivity of Firms

Tor Eriksson

Niels Westergaard-Nielsen

University of Chicago Press

The differences in productivity growth between the United States and Europe since the early 1990s have been explained by differences in the speed of adopting the new information and communication technologies and in making full use of the new technologies. The firm this chapter is concerned with is a large multinational firm in the pharmaceutical industry, the mother company of which is located in Denmark. Internationally, this firm faces strong competition from three or four other producers, so the company (AB) has been quite successful. Thus, the company is considered to be one of the big players in the market for the specific medicine it produces. The international market for the drug AB is producing is one of the fastest growing in the whole pharmaceutical industry. In Denmark AB is not only known for its successful performance over several years but is also widely considered to be among the best employers in the country because of its labor-friendly policies. Furthermore, AB is known for its corporate social responsibility and its focus on environmental issues in particular. But also equal opportunity and concerns for work–life balance are important elements of AB's profile. When AB opened a production plant in a new country, it to a large extent transferred the same company values to the new location. At the same time, AB had to account for differences in the economic environment its plants are operating.

Keywords:   productivity differences, international firms, pharmaceutical firms, information technology, communication technology

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