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Why do technology firms publish scientific papers? The strategic use of science by small and midsize enterprises in nanotechnology

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  • Yin Li

    ()

  • Jan Youtie
  • Philip Shapira

Abstract

In the emerging technology domain of nanotechnology, a significant portion of small and midsize enterprises contribute to the scientific literature by publishing their research and development results. However, while considerable attention has been paid to patenting by small and midsize technology firms, the underlying business motivations for such firms to publish scientific papers are not well understood. This paper investigates the scientific publishing patterns of smaller firms engaged in nanotechnology and the factors that underlie this phenomenon. Based on an analysis of 85 US small and midsize enterprises with a minimum of four nanotechnology patents or publications, we test three hypotheses about corporate publishing: reputational gains, absorptive capacity, and strategic spillovers. We find that the small and midsize firms in our sample are more likely to publish when their work is associated with public science and when it involves a greater technological focus, but having a university collaborator is not a significant factor. The results from this study of nanotechnology enterprises suggest that small and midsize technology firms selectively manage and disclose their research based on internal developmental and capacity drivers. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Suggested Citation

  • Yin Li & Jan Youtie & Philip Shapira, 2015. "Why do technology firms publish scientific papers? The strategic use of science by small and midsize enterprises in nanotechnology," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 40(6), pages 1016-1033, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:kap:jtecht:v:40:y:2015:i:6:p:1016-1033
    DOI: 10.1007/s10961-014-9391-6
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Csomós, György & Tóth, Géza, 2016. "Exploring the position of cities in global corporate research and development: A bibliometric analysis by two different geographical approaches," Journal of Informetrics, Elsevier, vol. 10(2), pages 516-532.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Small firm innovation; Intellectual property strategy; Corporate publication; Patenting strategy; Emerging technology; C5; L2; O31; O32; O34;

    JEL classification:

    • C5 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling
    • L2 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior
    • O31 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Innovation and Invention: Processes and Incentives
    • O32 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Management of Technological Innovation and R&D
    • O34 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Intellectual Property and Intellectual Capital

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