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Fuzzy front end patent management and innovation performance: Mediating role of patent commercialization and moderating effect of technological lock-in

Li Zhao (China University of Mining and Technology, Xuzhou, China)
Yang Xiang (Wuhan Textile University, Wuhan, China)
Qiulu Yi (China University of Mining and Technology, Xuzhou, China)

Management Decision

ISSN: 0025-1747

Article publication date: 10 July 2017

Abstract

Purpose

As a resource input in enterprise technological innovation, patents play an important role in influencing innovation performance. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the impact of fuzzy front end (FFE) patent management on innovation performance, and the mediating role of patent commercialization and the moderating effect of technological lock-in.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper adopts a questionnaire survey from a sample of 203 high-tech Chinese enterprises across multiple industries. Structural equation modeling and the hierarchical regression method were used to test the hypothesis.

Findings

The results show that the FFE of patent management, namely, patent acquisition and patent protection, positively affect innovation performance. Specifically, patent commercialization mediates the relationship between FFE patent management and innovation performance. Moreover, technological lock-in moderates the relationship between patent management and innovation performance.

Practical implications

This study puts forward suggestions relating to institution innovation and mechanism innovation for effective patent management in firms, and provides some guidelines for firms to efficiently utilize patents to improve innovation performance.

Originality/value

This paper provides certain empirical evidence for the study of organizational structure, strategic management, and knowledge governance. As the main participators in technology innovation, high-tech enterprises should utilize both inside and outside resources to acquire patents.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

This study was supported by National Natural Science Foundation of China (Grant No: 71402180), Humanities & Social Science of Ministry of Education (Grant No: 14YJC630205), and China Postdoctoral Science Foundation (Grant No: 2014M561734).

Citation

Zhao, L., Xiang, Y. and Yi, Q. (2017), "Fuzzy front end patent management and innovation performance: Mediating role of patent commercialization and moderating effect of technological lock-in", Management Decision, Vol. 55 No. 6, pp. 1143-1162. https://doi.org/10.1108/MD-03-2016-0127

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited