A dual knowledge perspective on the determinants of SME patenting: Results of an empirical investigation

Lara Agostini (Department of Management and Engineering, University of Padua, Vicenza, Italy)
Anna Nosella (Department of Management and Engineering, University of Padua, Vicenza, Italy)

Management Decision

ISSN: 0025-1747

Publication date: 10 July 2017

Abstract

Purpose

Considering that SMEs are widely recognized as important innovators and, in the past years, have registered increasing levels of patenting, the purpose of this paper is to unveil the impact of both internal and external knowledge sourcing on SME patenting performance and test the moderating role of formal plan for innovation and absorptive capacity.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors propose an econometric approach based on a Hurdle Count Data Model which allows the authors not only to overcome problems related to the count dependent variables often assuming zero values, but also to separate patent propensity from patent portfolio size.

Findings

This methodology puts in evidence that an internal factor (i.e. employee skills for innovation) significantly influences SME patent propensity, while an external factor (i.e. open innovation with business partners) impacts SME portfolio size. Moreover, both formal plan for innovation and absorptive capacity play an important moderating role.

Originality/value

This paper embraces a knowledge perspective to investigate the determinants of SME patenting, which contributes to the knowledge-based view of the firm in the SME domain. Moreover, differently from most studies in the area of patenting which adopt a macro-level perspective and rely on secondary data, it assumes a firm-level approach and bases on primary data, which contributes to make it particularly distinctive.

Keywords

Citation

Agostini, L. and Nosella, A. (2017), "A dual knowledge perspective on the determinants of SME patenting: Results of an empirical investigation", Management Decision, Vol. 55 No. 6, pp. 1226-1247. https://doi.org/10.1108/MD-04-2016-0215

Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

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