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The Influence of Leadership on Academic Scientists' Propensity to Commercialize Research Findings

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  • Stefan Krabel

    () (Institute of Economics and Economic Policy Research, University of Kassel)

  • Alexander Schacht

    () (Graduate College "The Economics of Innovative Change", Friedrich Schiller University, Germany)

Abstract

Previous studies of organizations have highlighted that leadership and organizational performance have a strong and long-term impact on employee behavior in private firms. In this study, we analyze whether similar effects can also be observed in academia by examining the commercialization behavior of academic scientists. The empirical analysis is based on panel data of commercialization for the period of 1980 - 2004 within the Max Planck Society, a leading research organization in Europe. The results suggest that director engagement in disclosure activity and the amount of royalties received lead to a significant increase in invention disclosure the following year. However, we do not find the same results when modeling longer time lags. Thus, academic scientists mimic successful behavior, while leadership behavior does not have long-lasting effects on commercialization behavior within the institute. We conclude that existing organizational theories need to be modified for academic organizations.

Suggested Citation

  • Stefan Krabel & Alexander Schacht, 2012. "The Influence of Leadership on Academic Scientists' Propensity to Commercialize Research Findings," Jena Economic Research Papers 2012-027, Friedrich-Schiller-University Jena.
  • Handle: RePEc:jrp:jrpwrp:2012-027
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Nelson, Richard R, 2001. "Observations on the Post-Bayh-Dole Rise of Patenting at American Universities," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 26(1-2), pages 13-19, January.
    2. Siegel, Donald S. & Waldman, David & Link, Albert, 2003. "Assessing the impact of organizational practices on the relative productivity of university technology transfer offices: an exploratory study," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 32(1), pages 27-48, January.
    3. Wagner, Joachim, 2004. "Are Young and Small Firms Hothouses for Nascent Entrepreneurs? Evidence from German Micro Data," IZA Discussion Papers 989, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    4. Azoulay, Pierre & Ding, Waverly & Stuart, Toby, 2007. "The determinants of faculty patenting behavior: Demographics or opportunities?," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 63(4), pages 599-623, August.
    5. Guido Buenstorf & Matthias Geissler, 2012. "Not invented here: technology licensing, knowledge transfer and innovation based on public research," Journal of Evolutionary Economics, Springer, vol. 22(3), pages 481-511, July.
    6. Jensen, Richard A. & Thursby, Jerry G. & Thursby, Marie C., 2003. "Disclosure and licensing of University inventions: 'The best we can do with the s**t we get to work with'," International Journal of Industrial Organization, Elsevier, vol. 21(9), pages 1271-1300, November.
    7. Pierre Azoulay & Waverly Ding & Toby Stuart, 2007. "The Determinants of Faculty Patenting Behavior: Demographics or Opportunities?," NBER Chapters,in: Academic Science and Entrepreneurship: Dual Engines of Growth National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Thursby, Jerry G & Jensen, Richard & Thursby, Marie C, 2001. "Objectives, Characteristics and Outcomes of University Licensing: A Survey of Major U.S. Universities," The Journal of Technology Transfer, Springer, vol. 26(1-2), pages 59-72, January.
    9. Buenstorf, Guido & Schacht, Alexander, 2013. "We need to talk – or do we? Geographic distance and the commercialization of technologies from public research," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 42(2), pages 465-480.
    10. Levy, David M. & Padgitt, Kail & Peart, Sandra J. & Houser, Daniel & Xiao, Erte, 2011. "Leadership, cheap talk and really cheap talk," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 77(1), pages 40-52, January.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    leadership effect; technology commercialization;

    JEL classification:

    • L24 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Contracting Out; Joint Ventures
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
    • O39 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Other

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