Lifting the Veil on Patents and Inventions: Implications for Strategy Research

Paola Criscuolo , Imperial College Business School

Patent data is a valued source of information in many areas of strategy research. However, as patents result from within-firm selection processes, patent-based studies may suffer from sample selection bias. We draw on rich qualitative data and a novel, proprietary dataset of all 40,000 invention disclosures within a large multinational firm, only some of which were patented, to explore the magnitude of this issue. After examining how firm-internal selection may lead to patentable inventions being shelved, kept secret, or rejected, we replicate, controlling for firm-internal selection, two prominent patent-based studies on inventor teams and the distribution of inventive outcomes, and on inventor experience and creativity. We find that accounting for selection both reaffirms and challenges past work, and discuss implications for past and future research.

About the speaker
Paola Criscuolo is an associate professor of innovation management at Imperial College Business School and deputy head of the Innovation and Entrepreneurship Department. She received her Ph.D. in the economics of innovation and technological change from Maastricht University. Her research interests include knowledge transfer and innovation at the firm and individual levels.

Venue: Conference room (room 0.16 & 0.17)

Date: 21 April 2016

Time: 12:30 - 13:30