Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login

How do firms protect their “knowledge capital”? socialization versus appropriation (Comment les firmes protègent-elles leur “capital savoir”? socialisation versus appropriation)

Contents:

Author Info

  • Blandine Laperche

    ()
    (labrii, ULCO)

Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to study the strategies implemented by firms to protect their knowledge base. Intellectual property rights – and notably patents - are the first tools that come to mind. Their rationale, since their origin, has been to give inventors some incentives and at the same time to facilitate a large diffusion of knowledge, so that the cumulative process of innovation may take place. However, due to this restriction, and also for reasons of cost, other tools than patents have been used by enterprises: one of the contributions of the paper is to show that firms use a whole set of tools to protect their knowledge capital. However, to assess properly the protection strategies implemented by firms implies to take account of today’s characteristics of elaboration of the knowledge capital by firms. We will see that, due to the profitability imperative, external means of formation of a knowledge capital are now of growing importance – even if in-house strategies are still essential. How do such strategies impact the way firms protect their knowledge capital? According to us, the recent trend to extend patenting possibilities to new fields (information technology, genetics) and closer to the scientific border is driven by the same profitability imperative. As firms are more and more open to their environment, they need to have a wider and stronger protection of their own knowledge base in which patents have a major part to play, even though they have important restrictions. We finally present the consequences of this growing contradiction between, on the one hand, the socialization of the knowledge capital and, on the other hand, its growing oligopolistic appropriation. L’objet de ce document est d’étudier les stratégies mises en oeuvre par les entreprises pour protéger leur capital savoir. Les droits de propriété intellectuelle – et notamment les brevets - sont les premiers outils qui viennent à l’esprit. Depuis leur origine, leur objet a été d’inciter les inventeurs et en même temps de faciliter une large diffusion des connaissances, pour que le processus cumulatif de l’innovation puisse exister. Mais, en raison de cette restriction, et aussi du fait de leur coût, d’autres outils, autres que les brevets ont été utilisés par les entreprises : l’une des contributions de cet article est de montrer que les firmes utilisent un ensemble d’outils pour protéger leur capital savoir. Toutefois, pour évaluer correctement les stratégies de protection des entreprises ; il est nécessaire de prendre en compte les caractéristiques actuelles de l’élaboration du capital savoir. Nous verrons que compte tenu de l’impératif de profitabilité, les stratégies externes de constitution du capital savoir ont une importance grandissante, même si les stratégies internes sont toujours essentielles. Quels sont les impacts de telles stratégies sur la façon dont les entreprises protègent leur capital savoir ? Selon nous, la tendance récente d’étendre les capacités à breveter dans de nouveaux domaines (technologies de l’information, génétique) et plus proches de la frontière scientifique est conduite par le même impératif de profitabilité. Comme les firmes sont plus ouvertes sur leur environnement, elles ont besoin d’une plus large et d’une plus forte protection de leur propre base de savoir, où les brevets, malgré leurs défauts, jouent un rôle majeur. Nous présentons finalement quelques conséquences de cette contradiction croissante entre d’une part la socialisation de la constitution du capital savoir et d’autre part, son appropriation oligopolistique croissante.

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL: http://riifr.univ-littoral.fr/wp-content/uploads/2007/04/doc104.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Laboratoire de Recherche sur l'Industrie et l'Innovation. ULCO / Research Unit on Industry and Innovation in its series Working Papers with number 104.

as in new window
Length: 17 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2005
Date of revision:
Publication status: Published in Cahiers du Lab.RII, Juillet 2005
Handle: RePEc:rii:riidoc:104

Contact details of provider:
Postal: Maison de la recherche en sciences de l'homme, 21 quai de la Citadelle, 59140 Dunkerque
Phone: (33) 3 28 23 71 35
Fax: (33) 3 28 23 71 43 or (33) 3 28 23 71 10
Email:
Web page: http://riifr.univ-littoral.fr/
More information through EDIRC

Related research

Keywords: knowledge capital; property right; innovation; socialization; appropriation;

Find related papers by JEL classification:

References

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
as in new window
  1. Nancy T. Gallini, 2002. "The Economics of Patents: Lessons from Recent U.S. Patent Reform," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 16(2), pages 131-154, Spring.
  2. Patel, Pari & Pavitt, Keith, 1997. "The technological competencies of the world's largest firms: Complex and path-dependent, but not much variety," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 26(2), pages 141-156, May.
  3. Pari Patel & Keith Pavitt, 1991. "Large Firms in the Production of the World’s Technology: An Important Case of “Non-Globalisation”," Journal of International Business Studies, Palgrave Macmillan, vol. 22(1), pages 1-21, March.
  4. Hagedoorn, John, 2002. "Inter-firm R&D partnerships: an overview of major trends and patterns since 1960," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 31(4), pages 477-492, May.
  5. Dimitri Uzunidis, 2003. "Les facteurs actuels qui font de la Science une force productive au service du capital Le quatrième moment de l'organisation de la production," Innovations, De Boeck Université, vol. 17(1), pages 51-78.
  6. Suzanne Scotchmer, 1991. "Standing on the Shoulders of Giants: Cumulative Research and the Patent Law," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 5(1), pages 29-41, Winter.
  7. Jay Pil Choi, 2003. "Pools and Cross-Licensing in the Shadow of Patent Litigation," CESifo Working Paper Series 1070, CESifo Group Munich.
  8. Dosi, Giovanni, 1988. "Sources, Procedures, and Microeconomic Effects of Innovation," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 26(3), pages 1120-71, September.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

Citations

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:rii:riidoc:104. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Philippe Chagnon).

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.