speaker Bilian Ni. Sullivan, HKUST time Friday, 5 June, 10:00-11:30 am
place Microsoft Teams Online conference room

Organization and Strategy Online Seminar2020-04

Topic:Strategic Use of Formal IP Protection: Firm-specific Knowledge and Firm Patenting Behavior

Speaker:Bilian Ni. Sullivan, HKUST

Time: Friday, 5 June, 10:00-11:30 am

Location: Microsoft Teams Online conference room


Building on the resource-based view, this study explores the relation between firm-specific knowledge and a firm’s strategic use of the formal IP protection --- filing patents. Firms with a high degree of specificity in their knowledge assets are less incentivized to seek formal IP protection (file patents) since these specific knowledge assets are less likely to be used by other firms to generate economic values. These firms also become less willing to file patents due to concerns about knowledge spillovers. We argue that firm-specific knowledge is likely to be negatively associated with a firm’s patent number due to the reduced incentives for the firm. However, such an effect would be weakened if the firm has the need of generating rents and blocking the patenting by competitors. Based on a unique combined survey and archival data of approximately 500 firms from China, our theoretical hypotheses are supported. The implications of our findings for research on knowledge-based view, firm-specific knowledge and firm IP protection in management studies are discussed.



Bilian Ni Sullivan is an Associate Professor at Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST). She was also the founding Academic Director of CEMS-MIMT at HKUST. Bilian received her Ph.D. (macro organizational behavior) and MA (research methodology) from the Stanford Graduate School of Business at Stanford University. Her research has been published inAdministrative Science Quarterly,Organization Science, Strategic Organizations and others.Her recent academic work has been focused on behavioral strategies in the context of firm innovation, especially firm innovation of Chinese firms.

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