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Technology licensing strategies: the interaction of process and content characteristics

Ulrich Lichtenthaler and Holger Ernst
Strategic Organization
Vol. 7, No. 2 (May 2009), pp. 183-221
Published by: Sage Publications, Ltd.
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/23728601
Page Count: 39
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Abstract

Industrial firms increasingly license their technological knowledge exclusively or in addition to its application inside the organization. Given the relative lack of prior research, this study uses qualitative data from interviews in 25 industrial firms to examine the role of strategy process and content characteristics in technology out-licensing. Following a mixed methods design, the study further uses quantitative data from a survey of 136 firms to test multiple hypotheses relating a firm's licensing performance to two process characteristics of corporate licensing strategies, i.e. formalization and integration, and to two strategy content issues, i.e. openness and activeness. The findings provide support for the combined explanatory power of strategy process and content variables, which strongly interact in their effect on licensing performance. The results help to understand the discrepancies between the success of some pioneering firms in technology licensing and the managerial difficulties of many others.

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