Case | HBS Case Collection | March 1992

Amgen, Inc.: Planning the Unplannable

by Nitin Nohria

Abstract

By the early 1990s, Amgen--a pharmaceutical company started little over a decade ago as Applied Molecular Genetics--was within range of becoming a billion-dollar company. With two extremely successful biotechnology drugs on the market, Amgen stood as the largest and most powerful independent company of its type in the world. Top executives in the company viewed long-range planning as an important ingredient in the firm's success; many others--including some of the firm's scientists--were less sure. With Amgen's sales expected to continue to grow rapidly, the firm's long-range planning process would be put to the test. Shows the different, sometimes paradoxical perspectives held within a single, dynamically changing company toward the issue of long-range planning. Students are challenged to synthesize these views into a coherent picture of a firm's growth amid great uncertainty.

Keywords: Growth and Development Strategy; Strategic Planning; Success; Risk and Uncertainty; Pharmaceutical Industry;

Citation:

Nohria, Nitin. "Amgen, Inc.: Planning the Unplannable." Harvard Business School Case 492-052, March 1992.