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What Inspires Leisure Time Invention?

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  • Davis, Lee N.
  • Davis, Jerome
  • Hoisl, Karin

Abstract

This paper seeks to understand the intriguing but only sparsely explored phenomenon of “leisure time invention,” where the main underlying idea for the new product or process occurs when the inventor is away from the workplace. We add to previous research by focussing on the inventive creativity of the individual researcher, and reassessing the image of researchers inventing during unpaid time – who have often been dispatched as “hobbyists”. Based on the responses from a survey of over 3,000 German inventors, we tested hypotheses on the conditions under which leisure time invention is likely to arise. Results suggest that the incidence of leisure time invention is positively related to exposure to a variety of knowledge inputs – but, surprisingly, not to the quality of prior inventive output. Leisure time inventions are more frequently observed in conceptual-based technologies than in science-based technologies, in smaller R&D projects, and in externally financed R&D projects.

Suggested Citation

  • Davis, Lee N. & Davis, Jerome & Hoisl, Karin, 2009. "What Inspires Leisure Time Invention?," Discussion Papers in Business Administration 10457, University of Munich, Munich School of Management.
  • Handle: RePEc:lmu:msmdpa:10457
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    File URL: https://epub.ub.uni-muenchen.de/10457/1/DDH_leisure_time_WP_LMU.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Leisure Time; Inventiveness; Organizational Creativity;

    JEL classification:

    • 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
    • J22 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Time Allocation and Labor Supply

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