Print this page Share

Career Imprints: Creating Leaders Across An Industry

ISBN: 978-0-7879-7930-0
288 pages
May 2005, Jossey-Bass
Career Imprints: Creating Leaders Across An Industry (0787979309) cover image


Based on her research of 800 biotechnology companies and 3,200 biotechnology executives, Harvard Business School professor Monica Higgins discovered that one firm–Baxter–was the breeding ground for today’s most successful biotechnology ventures. This phenomena of one organization spawning an industry has also been seen in the high-tech (Hewlett-Packard) and semiconductor industries (Fairchild). However, until now there has been no suitable explanation of why and how these organizations were able to create the next generation of industry leaders. Career Imprints shows why Baxter was so successful in spawning senior executives and offers an understanding of what it takes for an organization to produce leaders that will dominate an industry for years to come. In this important book, Higgins shows that an organization’s "career imprint"¾the result of company systems, structure, strategy, and culture¾that employees take with them throughout their careers is the key to creating great leaders. By understanding these factors, staff, human resource executives, and CEOs can analyze their own organization’s career imprint and develop leaders.
See More

Table of Contents




Part One: Setting the Stage.

1. Introduction: Career Imprints and Senior Executive Mobility.

2. From Baxter to Biotechnology: The First Wave of Baxter Boys.

Part Two: The Career Imprinting Process.

3. Place: Understanding Breeding Grounds for Career Imprinting.

4. People: Characteristics and Susceptibility to Career Imprinting.

5. Paths: The Baxter Career Experience and Resulting Career Imprint.

6. Beyond Baxter: Career Imprints of Merck, Johnson & Johnson, and Abbott.

Part Three: The Consequences of Career Imprints.

7. The Spawning Effect: Career Imprints and Industry Evolution.

8. The Legacy of Career Imprints for Organizations.

9. The Opportunities and Constraints of Career Imprints.

10. Career Imprints: New Answers, New Questions.

Appendix A: Research Design and Methods.

Appendix B: Analyses of Baxter's Impact on IPO Success.

Appendix C: Baxter's Business and Product Timelines.



See More

Author Information

Monica Higgins is an associate professor in the Organizational Behavior Unit of Harvard Business School. Her research, published in more than 40 professional articles and case studies, centers on careers, strategic human resource management, and leadership development. She is a member of the Academy of Management and the American Psychological Association.
See More

The Wiley Advantage

  • FOREWORD BY ED SCHEIN: Ed Schein, who first coined the term "corporate culture" writes in the Foreword, "This book should launch a whole new era of research on career and organizational evolution."
  • RESEARCH -BASED: Higgins includes research gathered from over  over 3200 companies
See More


“Monica Higgins’ groundbreaking work, Career Imprints, offers bold and original insights into the way in which talent-laden companies spawn new businesses, as Baxter alums did for the biotech industry. Her provocative and thoroughly documented research goes well beyond classic economic theories to demonstrate conclusively why entrepreneurially-led companies have the capacity not only to create new companies but entire industries as well.”--Bill George, author, Authentic Leadership, and former chairman and chief executive officer, Medtronic

 “At the heart of this important study is a fascinating question:  Why did alumni of one company --the amazing ‘Baxter boys’--produce so many of the leaders of the burgeoning biotech industry?  To find the answers, Monica Higgins left no research stone unturned.  The result is a compelling new theory about exactly what happens in the early stages of careers to shape true leaders who can guide innovation and entrepreneurship.  Higgins’ concepts will leave their imprint on careers, company cultures, and industry development.”--Rosabeth Moss Kanter, Harvard Business School, author, Confidence:  How Winning Streaks & Losing Streaks Begin & End

“What Farichild was to the development of high technology firms in Silicon Valley, Baxter has been to the evolution of the biopharmaceutical industry. Monica Higgins builds a fascinating, richly portrayed case for Baxter’s impact on the creation and growth of biopharmaceutical firms.”--Denise Rousseau, H.J. Heinz II Professor of Organization Behavior and Public Policy, Carnegie

“Dr. Higgins has written an insightful analysis of a phenomenon which shaped the biotechnology industry. There is no doubt that my days at Baxter had the most profound influence on my life and career as well as those of my colleagues.”--Bob Carpenter, founder, Intergrated Genetics, Geltex, Vactex, Candent, Somatix, Hydra and Peptimmune

Career Imprints is inspired as both industry history and cultural anthropology. In unique fashion, Monica Higgins tells the story of the emergence of Baxter Travenol as a healthcare giant and one of the great cell cultures of American entrepreneurship. This book is a must for anyone interested in the place of high tech healthcare in our economy and entrepreneurial organizational development.”--William A. Holodank, president, J. Robert Scott

See More

More in this series

Back to Top