Inventor motives, collaboration and creativity
No, Yeon Ji
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This study examines the relationship between an inventor’s motives and creativity, invention commercialization, and collaboration pattern. Special emphasis is placed on the educational background of inventors when examining the effect of inventor motive on invention commercialization. The data are based in a unique survey of patent inventors in the United States, and archival data. The GT/RIETI 2007 Inventor Survey includes information on commercialization for patented inventions and measures of inventor motives. Archival data based on Lai et al. (2011) was the basis for the collection of creativity measures based on U.S. patent technology subclasses. The results indicate that inventors’ motives differentiate the outcome of innovative activities. We found a firm motive has a positive effect on creating new combinations, commercialization of patents, and collaboration with coworkers. The results also suggest that the recognition motive negatively affects the creation of new combinations, and that there is no effect on the commercialization of the patent. As for collaboration pattern, the results show that individual differences in motives are associated with different patterns in collaboration. For example, task-oriented inventors are less likely to collaborate with others outside of the firm entity, whereas inventors with recognition motives are more likely to have a larger collaborative network with other professionals in the same field. This paper suggests that policy-makers should consider individual heterogeneity in innovative performance, knowledge creation, and patterns of collaboration. Based on the findings, future research and policy implications are discussed.