Psychological Determinants of Patenting Behavior in Academic Inventors

By Santhi Perumal and Mary Mathew.

Published by The International Journal of Science in Society

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Research on academic patents and its commercialization has been carried out increasingly since the mid 1980s. Most of the papers in this area focus on institutional impacts and economic implications of academic patenting. Limited studies have tackled the phenomenon of academic patenting from the individual inventor's perspective. The review of earlier studies on patenting that focused on academic inventors indicate the influence of variables like gender, tenure status, academic discipline, presence of IP office, motivation and perception of personal and professional benefits on patenting behavior. The role of psychological variables like personality traits, aspirations and attitude towards patenting, in influencing patenting behavior have not been studied. This paper attempts to address this gap. A conceptual framework of academic patenting behavior with the individual academic inventor as the focus is proposed. The key components of this framework are behavioral factors like attitude towards patenting and creative personality traits. In-depth case studies of academic inventors (N=7) were undertaken as a preliminary check of the proposed model in explaining patenting behavior in academics. A semi-structured interview technique was adopted. The transcripts of the interviews were analyzed using content analysis. The resultant data throws light on various aspects of psychological factors as determining the patenting behavior of academics.

Keywords: Academic Inventors, Psychological Determinants of Patenting, Academic Patenting, Patenting Behaviour, Attitude towards Patenting, Creative Personality Traits

The International Journal of Science in Society, Volume 2, Issue 1, pp.209-222. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 539.855KB).

Santhi Perumal

Research Student, Department of Management Studies, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, Karnataka, India

Santhi Perumal is a doctoral student at the Department of Management Studies, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore. She has post-graduate degree in Applied Psychology. Her current research interest is in the area of academic patenting, inventor behaviour organizational innovativeness and science and innovation linkages. Her other areas of interest include positive organizational behaviour, psychological contracts and resilience.

Prof. Mary Mathew

Associate Professor, Department of Management Studies, Centre for Product Design and Management, Society for Innovation and Development, Intellectual Property Cell, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, Karnataka, India

Mary Mathew is an Associate Professor at the Department of Management Studies, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore. Her research interest is in the area of organization designs that maximize innovative patents. She looks at systemic changes namely process, design and culture needed to make R&D product in the ICT and telecommunications sector. Her recent publications are also in Journal of Innovation, Journal of Intellectual Property Rights, Vikalpa, CURIE Journal, and the South East Asian Journal ofManagement. At IISc additionally, she is also a Resource Executive of the Society of Innovation Development the university industry office of IISc where she negotiates with companies for IISc’s intellectual property.