Strategies of innovation and appropriation. Sectoral analysis of Argentine manufacturing firms




Innovation, Appropriation, Strategy


Following the evolutionary and neoshumpeterian theoretical framework, this research studies how the appropriation strategy of firms is formed in different industrial sector and what factors explain the use of the mechanisms that firms use to protect their innovations. The analysis is based on evidence from Argentine manufacturing firms surveyed by the National Survey of Employment Dynamics and Innovation (ENDEI) for 2010-2012. The results of the statistical analysis allow to identify three clusters at the sectoral level with differentiated characteristics in terms of their innovation activities and business conformation. The cluster of high innovative activity shows a greater incidence of the use of secrecy and patents, while the cluster of low innovative activity presents a greater use of complementary assets and first mover. The econometric analysis (Probit models) shows different effects of the factors considered (type of effort and innovative results, capabilities, linkages, structural factors) on the mechanism used, showing that the appropriation strategy is an emerging of innovation process and differs according to the sectoral cluster considered. The type of innovative effort affects only the appropriation strategy of the high and low innovative activity clusters; while the structural factors of firms explain only the appropriation strategy of sectors of high and medium innovative activity.


Arrow, Kenneth. 1962. “Economic Welfare and the Allocation of Resources for Invention.” In The Rate and Direction of Inventive Activity, edited by R. Nelson. Princeton: Princeton University Press.

Arundel, Anthony. 2001. “The relative effectiveness of patents and secrecy for appropriation.” Research Policy 30:611-624.

Arundel, Anthony, and Isabelle Kabla. 1998. “What percentage of innovations are patented? Empirical estimates for European firms.” Research Policy 27 (2): 127-141.

Byma, Justin, and Aija Leiponen. 2007. “Can’t Block, Must Run: Small Firms and Appropriability.” Working Paper Series 1-07, The Mario Einaudi Center for International Studies, January.

Blind, Knut, Jakob Edler, Rainer Frietsch, and Ulrich Schmoch. 2006. “Motives to patent: Empirical evidence from Germany.” Research Policy 35 (5): 655-672.

Brouwer, Erik, and Alfred Kleinknecht. 1999. “Innovative output, and a firm's propensity to patent: An exploration of CIS micro data.” Research Policy 28 (6): 615-624.

CEP – Centro de Estudios para la Producción. 2006. “Lógica sectorial del uso del sistema de patentes en Argentina.” Síntesis de la Economía Real 51:79-108.

Chabchoub, Norhène, and Jorge Niosi. 2005. “Explaining the propensity to patent computer software.” Technovation 25 (9): 971-978.

Cincera, Michele. 2005. “The link between firms' R&D by type of activity and source of funding and the decision to patent.” DULBEA Research Series, Working Paper, 05-10.

Cohen, Wesley M., Richard R. Nelson, and John P. Walsh. 2000. "Protecting Their Intellectual Assets: Appropriability Conditions and Why U.S. Manufacturing Firms Patent (Or Not)." NBER Working Paper Series, Working Paper 7552.

Combe, Emmanuel, and Etienne Pfister. 2000. “Patents Against Imitators: An Empirical Investigation on French Data.” Cahiers de la MSE.

Dosi, Giovanni. 1982. "Technological paradigms and technological trajectories: A suggested interpretation of the determinants and directions of technical change." Research Policy 11 (3): 147-62.

Dosi, Giovanni, Luigi Marengo, and Corrado Pasquali. 2006. “How much should society fuel the greed of innovators? On the relations between appropriability, opportunities and rates of innovation.” Research Policy 35:1110-1121.

Dosi, Giovanni, Christopher Freeman, and Silvia Fabiani. 1994. "The Process of Economic Development: Introducing Some Stylized Facts and Theories on Technologies, Firms and Institutions." Industrial and Corporate Change 3 (1): 1-45.

Fernández Sánchez, Esteban. 2004. “Formas de apropiación de las ganancias de una innovación.” Universia Business Review 1 (1).

Freeman, Christopher. 1994. "The economics of technical change." Cambridge Journal of Economics 18 (5): 463.

Galende del Canto, Jesús. 2006. “La apropiación de los resultados de la actividad innovadora.” Universidad de Salamanca, mimeo.

Geroski, Paul. 1995. “Markets for Technology: Knowledge, Innovation and Appropriability.” In Handbook of the Economics of Innovation and Technological Change, edited by P. Stoneman. Cambridge, Oxford: Blackwell.

González-Álvarez, Nuria, and Mariano Nieto-Antolín. 2007. “Appropriability of innovation results: An empirical study in Spanish manufacturing firms.” Technovation 27:280-295.

Greene, William H. 2003. Econometric analysis. Pearson Education India.

Griliches, Zvi. 1990. “Patent Statistics as Economic Indicators: A Survey.” Journal of Economic Literature 28 (4): 1661-1707.

Hanel, Petr. 2006. “Intellectual property rights business management practices: A survey of the literature.” Technovation 26 (8): 895-931.

Harabi, Najib. 1995. “Appropriability of technical innovations: An empirical analysis.” Research Policy 24 (6): 981-992.

Holgersson, Marcus. 2013. “Patent management in entrepreneurial SMEs: a literature review and an empirical study of innovation appropriation, patent propensity, and motives.” R&D Management 43 (1).

Hu, Albert G., and Gary H. Jefferson. 2009. “A great wall of patents: What is behind China's recent patent explosion?” Journal of Development Economics 90 (1): 57-68.

Hurmelinna-Laukkanen, Pia, and Kaisu Puumalainen. 2007. “Nature and Dynamics of Appropriability: Strategies for Appropriating Returns on Innovation.” R&D Management 37 (2): 95-112.

Hurmelinna-Laukkanen, Pia, Mika Vanhala, and Heidi Olander. 2016. “Appropriability profiles – different actors, different outcomes.” International Journal of Innovation Management 20 (08).

Johnson, Bjørn H., and Bengt Å. Lundvall. 1994., “Sistemas nacionales de innovación y aprendizaje institucional.” Comercio Exterior 44 (8): 695-704.

Klevorick, Alvin K., Richard C. Levin, Richard R. Nelson, and Sidney G. Winter. 1995. “On the sources and significance of interindustry differences in technological opportunities.” Research Policy 24 (2): 185-205.

Laursen, Keld, and Ammon Salter. 2005. “The Role of Legal Appropriability Strategy in Shaping Innovative Performance.” DRUID, Department of Industrial Economics and Strategy, Working Paper no. 05-02.

Leiponen, Aija, and Justin Byma. 2009. “If you cannot block, you better run: Small firms, cooperative innovation, and appropriation strategies.” Research Policy 38 (9): 1478-1488.

Levin, Richard C., Alvin K. Klevorick, Richard R. Nelson, Sidney G. Winter, Richard Gilbert, and Zvi Griliches. 1987. "Appropriating the Returns from Industrial Research and Development." Brookings Papers on Economic Activity 3:783-831.

Lieberman, Marvin B., and David B. Montgomery. 1988. “First-mover advantages.” Strategic Management Journal 9 (S1): 41-58.

López, Andrés. 2009. “Innovation and appropriability: empirical evidence and research agenda.” In The Economics of Intellectual Property. Suggestions for Further Research in Developing Countries and Countries with Economies in Transition, edited by World Intellectual Property Organization, January 2009.

López, Andrés, and Eugenia Orlicki. 2007. “Innovación y mecanismos de apropiabilidad en el sector privado en América latina.” In proyecto OMPI-CEPAL Sistemas de Propiedad Intelectual y Gestión Tecnológica en Economías Abiertas: una Visión Estratégica para América Latina y el Caribe. CENIT, 30 de agosto de 2007.

Malerba, Franco, and Luigi Orsenigo. 1997. “Technological regimes and sectoral patterns of innovative activities.” Industrial and Corporate Change 6 (1): 83-117.

Mansfield, Edwin. 1986. “Patents and Innovation: An Empirical Study.” Management Science 32 (2): 173-181.

Milesi, Darío, Natalia Petelski, and Vladimiro Verre. 2017. “Innovación y uso de patentes en la industria manufacturera argentina.” In La Encuesta Nacional de Dinámica de Empleo (ENDEI) como herramienta de análisis. La innovación y el empleo en la industria manufacturera argentina, edited by CEPAL, N., A. M. de Ciencia, et al. (2017), 231-254. LC/TS.2017/102.

Milesi, Darío, Vladimiro Verre, and Natalia Petelski. 2017. “Science-industry R & D cooperation effects on firm’s appropriation strategy: the case of Argentine biopharma.” European Journal of Innovation Management 20 (3): 372-391.

Milesi, Darío, Natalia Petelski, and Vladimiro Verre. 2014. "Apropiación privada de los resultados de innovación." In Tópicos de la teoría evolucionista neoshumpeteriana de la innovación y el cambio tecnológico, edited by Yoguel, G. Robert, V., and Barletta, F., 357-376. Universidad Nacional de General Sarmiento, Los Polvorines, Argentina.

Milesi, Darío, Natalia Petelski, and Vladimiro Verre. 2013."Innovation and choice of appropriation mechanisms: evidence from Argentine microdata." Technovation 33 (2-3): 78-87.

Neuhäusler, Peter. 2012. “The use of patents and informal appropriation mechanisms—Differences between sectors and among companies.” Technovation 32 (12): 681-693.

Paula, Fábio de Oliveira, and Jorge F. Da Silva. 2019. “The role of the appropriability mechanisms for the innovative success of Portuguese small and medium enterprises.” International Journal of Innovation Management 23 (04): 1-23.

Pavitt, Keith. 1984. “Sectoral patterns of technical change: towards a taxonomy and a theory.” Research Policy 13 (6): 343-374.

Sattler, Henrik. 2003. “Appropriability of Product Innovations: An Empirical Analysis for Germany.” Research Papers on Marketing and Retailing 003, University of Hamburg.

Teece, David J. 1986. “Profiting from technological innovation: Implications for integration, collaboration, licensing and public policy.” Research Policy 15 (6): 285-305.

Veugelers, Reinhilde, and Bruno Cassiman. 1999. “Make and buy in innovation strategies: evidence from Belgian manufacturing firms.” Research Policy 28 (1): 63-80.

Winter, Sidney G. 1984. "Schumpeterian competition in alternative technological regimes." Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization 5 (3-4): 287-320.