Replication has typically been used as a strategy in chain businesses such as McDonald's where the technology involved is rather simple but it has also been used for very complex technologies where strict quality conditions apply. This paper examines the use of replication when the object of the replication is relatively complex. — i.e. it is neither simple nor very complex. Using a qualitative, embedded single-case study we examine a strategic R&D and capital investment programme aimed at providing a small oil company with first mover advantage in the emerging market for biodiesel. The paper builds on concepts of project. Research Highlights: Replication is also about creation of new knowledge. Continual creation and assimilation of knowledge within and between the projects. Arrow Core is not fully fixed, but under constant refinement. Projects in the programme are steps in the learning process to discover Arrow core. Simultaneous exploration and exploitation as firms move to a new capability base.
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