This paper examines how the knowledge-based view (KBV) can be applied to firm boundary decisions and the performance implications of those decisions. At the center of the paper is a theoretical and empirical examination of how firms most efficiently organize for technological development. We find that distinct organization approaches are advantaged in the speed of technological development depending on the structure of technological development problems and the depth of firms' technological area experience. We make theoretical and empirical contributions to KBV research that examines knowledge development and transfer. Drug development in the pharmaceutical industry serves as our empirical setting. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.