- Should we patent it or keep it a secret? The moderating role of proactive orientation in family versus non-family SMEs

Daniele Cerrato, Marco Minciullo, Elena M Gimenez-Fernandez, Karin Beukel, Beverly B Tyler, Nathalie Spielmann, Allan F Discua Cruz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

We investigate how family and non-family small-and-medium size enterprises (SMEs) differ in their preference for patenting over secrecy as a means to protect value of intellectual property, and how proactive orientation moderates this relationship. Because secrecy carries more risks for spillover than patenting, we propose and provide evidence to suggest that family SMEs are more likely to use patents than secrecy relative to non-family SMEs as a mechanism to protect value. However, proactive orientation can weaken this relationship, since SMEs with a proactive orientation will avoid the disclosure of information required for patenting. Using a sample of 300 SMEs from four countries in the wine industry, we find support for our hypotheses and contribute to both the intellectual property (IP) and SME literatures by explaining how family SMEs relative to non-family SMEs protect the value of IP
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)450-473
Number of pages24
JournalInternational Small Business Journal
Volume39
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2021

Keywords

  • family firms, patents, proactive orientation, secrecy, SMEs

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of '- Should we patent it or keep it a secret? The moderating role of proactive orientation in family versus non-family SMEs'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this