Document Type



This paper analyzes how e-business solutions facilitate strategic learning in a globally operating industrial organization. Because of confidentiality, the case company is called here The Pharmaceutical Company. The theoretical framework consists of strategic composition®, an interpretation of autopoiesis theory (the theory of self-producing systems). The framework emphasizes both interaction with the business environment and self-referentiality to ensure efficient utilization of accumulated knowledge.

The Pharmaceutical Company is a healthcare company that manufactures and markets pharmaceutical products and services for certain illnesses. It is not only a world leader in the care of one serious illness but also has a leading position in some other pharmaceutical product areas.

The Pharmaceutical Company has created comprehensive web-based solutions that are centrally coordinated, locally maintained, and enable interactive communication between the company, consumers and professionals.

Development of these solutions has resulted in much of the tacit knowledge becoming explicit, thus facilitating organizational learning both at the coordinating and local levels. The Pharmaceutical Company’s web solutions have also facilitated interaction with consumer and professional communities, as well as provided a medium for education. Many parties outside the company have thus become more firmly involved in the learning processes and have gained the opportunity to improve their knowledge.

Although many regulations prevent using the information produced by the system, even that information available within the limits of the regulations has remained underutilized. The Pharmaceutical Company has many potential opportunities to learn from the interaction offered by its web-based e-business solutions.