Conceptualization And Measurement Of Organizational Patent Externalization Potential In R&D : Insights For Organization Design And Practice
Chakraborty, Nilanjana Bhaduri
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Organizations have realized that they need to develop and strategically utilize their patent portfolios in order to maintain sustainable competitive advantage. This requires a change in the organization design and practice. Prior studies have addressed this in context of increasing patent productivity, i.e., process of filing patents (Shapiro, 1990; Berkowitz, 1993; Ransley and Gaffney, 1997; Chattopadhyay, 2003). But there have been lacunae in addressing issues in organization design and practice for ensuring patent utilization, which forms the focus of this thesis. Patent externalization is defined the process of translating embedded intellectual value of a patent into “externalized” knowledge and financial benefits. The objectives of the thesis have been to conceptualize a model and measure high and low variances in organizational patent externalization potential, to understand significant organization-level practices that differentiates between organizations having high and low patent externalization potential, to understand differences in organizational perceptions about knowledge and financial orientation of the patent externalization practices in organizations having high and low patent externalization potential and to suggest changes in practices that would enhance organizational patent externalization potential. Towards this purpose, prior literature related to patent productivity and organization change were studied and a conceptual model was developed. The conceptual model outlines that the organizational design components – organizational practices supporting patenting outcomes, competitive intelligence gathering practices and patent commercialization practices alongwith organization and individual moderating variables determine the organizational patent externalization potential. This model was initially verified through exploratory case studies across seven R&D intensive organizations. Variables identified from literature review and initial case studies, were operationally defined and measurement models for the thesis were developed. A questionnaire comprising of 160 items (validated items measuring the aforementioned variables) was designed for conducting the survey research. The measurement scale used was a 5-point Likert-type interval scale. . A Cronbach alpha of 0.82 was obtained for the questionnaire. The sample comprised of professionals from four sectors – pharmaceutical, IT, manufacturing and academia. The sample size was 56 organizations representing 208 professionals. To accommodate the influence of the moderating variables, data was collected from professionals having commercialized patents, whose patents were yet to be commercialized and those having no patent commercialization experience. The statistical techniques used for data analysis were: principal component analysis, hierarchical cluster analysis, discriminant analysis, F-test, t-test and chi-square tests. This thesis provides insights into various practices and perceptions that are essential design components in enhancing organizational patent externalization potential. These findings have implications for OD managers. The thesis contributes both to the theory of patent management and change management literature. Additionally, the questionnaire designed for this study has potential for being used as a diagnostic tool to assess potential for organizational change. Limitations and future areas of study are also addressed.
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