Search Practices and Appropriability in Networks
Theme: Open and Distributed Innovation
Research Team: Professor Ammon Salter, Paola Criscuolo
This small-scale and short project explored how firms’ appropriability strategies shape their search behaviour. The goal of the project was to develop a better understanding of how firms can access external sources of knowledge, while managing to appropriate the gains of their innovative efforts. The research sought to create new knowledge about how firms manage this tension, examining the choices they make and implications of these choices for performance.
Many organisations are seeking to harness external sources of knowledge more effectively in their innovative activities. Alongside these attempts to ‘open’ up the innovation process, considerable effort has been placed on improving the value and effectiveness of a firm’s IP assets. IP can refer to both formal intellectual property (such as patents, goodwill) and know-how held by the organisation. Firms often face a range of difficult choices about how they organise the search for innovation and the need to capture the economic benefits of an innovation. The goal of this project was to gain a greater understanding of this issue and develop managerial practices associated with successful search and commercialisation. This was achieved by developing cases, facilitating an experience-sharing workshop and through the production of best practice guidance for other organisations working this area.