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To patent or not to patent: That is the question. Intellectual property protection in family firms
Jönköping University, Jönköping International Business School, JIBS, Business Administration. Jönköping University, Jönköping International Business School, JIBS, Centre for Family Entrepreneurship and Ownership (CeFEO).ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3742-542X
Jönköping University, Jönköping International Business School, JIBS, Business Administration. Jönköping University, Jönköping International Business School, JIBS, Centre for Family Entrepreneurship and Ownership (CeFEO). Department of Strategic Management and Entrepreneurship, Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Rotterdam, The Netherlands.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-8738-1915
Jönköping University, Jönköping International Business School, JIBS, Business Administration. Jönköping University, Jönköping International Business School, JIBS, Centre for Family Entrepreneurship and Ownership (CeFEO).ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7499-9289
Jönköping University, Jönköping International Business School, JIBS, Business Administration. Jönköping University, Jönköping International Business School, JIBS, Centre for Family Entrepreneurship and Ownership (CeFEO).ORCID iD: 0000-0003-0691-2740
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2020 (English)In: Entrepreneurship: Theory & Practice, ISSN 1042-2587, E-ISSN 1540-6520, Vol. 44, no 2, p. 339-367Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

This study examines family firms’ propensity to protect their intellectual property through patents. Building on the mixed gamble logic of the behavioral agency model, we theorize that family ownership has a U-shaped relationship with firm propensity to patent. Specifically, we argue that family firms’ desire to prevent losses of current socioemotional wealth inhibits their propensity to patent until a threshold level of family ownership, beyond which the family’s socioemotional wealth is secured and a greater focus on prospective financial gains attainable through patents is possible. We also suggest that environmental munificence moderates this nonlinear relationship such that a low-munificent environment accentuates the potentially detrimental (beneficial) effects of low-to-medium (medium-to-high) levels of family ownership on patents. We test our hypotheses on a sample of 4,198 small- and medium-sized family firms.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Sage Publications, 2020. Vol. 44, no 2, p. 339-367
Keywords [en]
Intellectual property protection, patent, innovation, environmental munificence, family firms
National Category
Business Administration
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-41546DOI: 10.1177/1042258718806251ISI: 000514931400008Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85064178693Local ID: ;IHHCeFEOISOAI: oai:DiVA.org:hj-41546DiVA, id: diva2:1250336
Available from: 2018-09-24 Created: 2018-09-24 Last updated: 2020-03-18Bibliographically approved

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Chirico, FrancescoCriaco, GiuseppeBaù, MassimoNaldi, Lucia

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