Case | HBS Case Collection | February 2007 (Revised April 2010)

Wyeth Pharmaceuticals: Spurring Scientific Creativity with Metrics

by Robert S. Huckman, Gary P. Pisano and Mark Rennella


Describes the reorganization of the drug discovery organization at Wyeth Pharmaceuticals and focuses on the decisions to: (1) centralize decision-making within drug discovery and (2) institute numerical metrics--jointly affecting all R&D scientists--for the progression of compounds through the Wyeth pipeline. Highlights issues concerning the degree to which scientific activity can be evaluated via numerical metrics, the extent to which R&D can be structured as a process, and the degree to which decision-making should be centralized in commercial R&D activities.

Keywords: Decision Making; Measurement and Metrics; Business Processes; Organizational Structure; Research and Development; Science-Based Business; Creativity; Pharmaceutical Industry;


Huckman, Robert S., Gary P. Pisano, and Mark Rennella. "Wyeth Pharmaceuticals: Spurring Scientific Creativity with Metrics." Harvard Business School Case 607-008, February 2007. (Revised April 2010.)