Psychological Determinants of Patenting Behavior in Academic Inventors


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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.