IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/unm/unumer/2008036.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Radical versus Non-Radical Inventions

Author

Listed:
  • Schoenmakers, Wilfred

    () (Hasselt University)

  • Duysters, Geert

    () (UNU-MERIT)

  • Vanhaverbeke, Wim

    () (Hasselt University)

Abstract

This paper looks at the special characteristics of radical inventions. It tries to identify those variables that differentiate radical inventions from non-radical inventions. Since radical inventions are very important for the economy as a whole and for the individual firm performances, understanding what makes radical inventions differ from non-radical inventions is very important. For our research we made use of the EPO (European Patent Office) database on patents. We used the number of forward patent citations per patent to identify radical from non-radical inventions. For our analysis we used the backward patent citations per patent. In order to test if the two groups we are considering are truly different and to see on what factors they differ we made use of discriminant function analysis. Some of our main conclusions are that radical inventions are to a higher degree based on existing knowledge than non-radical inventions. Also the combination of emergent and mature knowledge is more important for radical inventions. A further result that follows from our analysis is that radical inventions are induced by the recombination over more knowledge domains as compared to non-radical inventions. Our research hints also on the importance of alliances and an open innovation system for the development of radical inventions.

Suggested Citation

  • Schoenmakers, Wilfred & Duysters, Geert & Vanhaverbeke, Wim, 2008. "Radical versus Non-Radical Inventions," MERIT Working Papers 036, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
  • Handle: RePEc:unm:unumer:2008036
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://www.merit.unu.edu/publications/wppdf/2008/wp2008-036.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Bronwyn H. Hall & Adam B. Jaffe & Manuel Trajtenberg, 2000. "Market Value and Patent Citations: A First Look," NBER Working Papers 7741, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. Bart Verspagen & Wilfred Schoenmakers, 2004. "The spatial dimension of patenting by multinational firms in europe," Journal of Economic Geography, Oxford University Press, vol. 4(1), pages 23-42, January.
    3. Dahlin, Kristina & Taylor, Margaret & Fichman, Mark, 2004. "Today's Edisons or weekend hobbyists: technical merit and success of inventions by independent inventors," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 33(8), pages 1167-1183, October.
    4. Carpenter, Mark P. & Narin, Francis & Woolf, Patricia, 1981. "Citation rates to technologically important patents," World Patent Information, Elsevier, vol. 3(4), pages 160-163, October.
    5. Albert, M. B. & Avery, D. & Narin, F. & McAllister, P., 1991. "Direct validation of citation counts as indicators of industrially important patents," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 20(3), pages 251-259, June.
    6. 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.
    7. Dahlin, Kristina B. & Behrens, Dean M., 2005. "When is an invention really radical?: Defining and measuring technological radicalness," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 34(5), pages 717-737, June.
    8. Narin, Francis & Noma, Elliot & Perry, Ross, 1987. "Patents as indicators of corporate technological strength," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 16(2-4), pages 143-155, August.
    9. Dietmar Harhoff & Francis Narin & F. M. Scherer & Katrin Vopel, 1999. "Citation Frequency And The Value Of Patented Inventions," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(3), pages 511-515, August.
    10. Achilladelis, Basil & Schwarzkopf, Albert & Cines, Martin, 1990. "The dynamics of technological innovation: The case of the chemical industry," Research Policy, Elsevier, vol. 19(1), pages 1-34, February.
    11. Atul Nerkar, 2003. "Old Is Gold? The Value of Temporal Exploration in the Creation of New Knowledge," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 49(2), pages 211-229, February.
    12. Lee Fleming, 2001. "Recombinant Uncertainty in Technological Search," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 47(1), pages 117-132, January.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    More about this item

    Keywords

    radical inventions; patents; organizational learning; alliances;

    JEL classification:

    • O30 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - General
    • 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
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
    • O34 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Intellectual Property and Intellectual Capital
    • D83 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Search; Learning; Information and Knowledge; Communication; Belief; Unawareness

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:unm:unumer:2008036. 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: (Ad Notten). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/meritnl.html .

    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 CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service 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.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.