Completed Research Projects

Resources for data innovation

It is often claimed, that access to high-quality data is the key component in machine learning. However, at present there is no empirical but only anecdotal evidence for this claim. The purpose of the research is to understand the importance of different resources for companies relying on machine learning. More information can be found here.

Contact: Philipp Hartmann

Industry consortia and mobile telecommunication standards

The growing number and relevance of industry consortia in ICT has triggered considerable research on the topic, especially with regards to the impact of consortia in telecommunications standard setting. Their important role in standard setting has been recognised, and often termed as "pre-standardisation". We aim at shedding light on the diversity of industry consortia, creating a systematic classification of industry consortia. Ultimately, we would like to understand how firms establish and shape industry consortia, and how this affects overall technological development in the industry.

Contact: Lisa Teubner

Patent data in management research

The availability and richness of patent data have made it a popular starting point for empirical analyses in management research. Patent data, however, is riddled with problems which have not been comprehensively addressed so far. The project analyzes in how far current research acknowledges the limitations of patent data and addresses these in their study design. The project’s goal is to improve the understanding of patent data limitations and provide suggestions for future research designs.

Contact: Katharina Tanimura

Managing cycles in innovation processes

The SFB 768/ CRC 768 devotes its efforts to improve innovation processes for integrated goods and services (product-service systems, PSS) based on technical products. The principal aim of the Collaborative Research Centre CRC 768 is to improve the effectiveness and efficiency of these innovation processes. This is a major challenge of companies in the manufacturing sector. Our team works within the two subprojects C3 and C5. Within these projects we investigate the possibility of integrating innovative users across the PSS lifecycle. We develop means and drivers for successful user integration across the innovation process.

Website CRC 768

Contacts: Claus Schöttl, Michael Zaggl

Influencing factors on patents’ validity

Up to 75% of all patents that enter invalidation proceedings are ruled (partially) invalid. In our research we analyze the factors influencing patents’ validity. We aim at predicting the share of all patents that, if they underwent invalidation proceedings, would be ruled invalid.

Contacts: Hans Zischka, Joachim Henkel

EU research project: is a multi-partner, EU-sponsored research project that seeks to unveil the significance of creativity and cultural and creative industries in Europe. Our team contributes by investigating the use of appropriability mechanisms for design innovation, in particular European design rights.  

Contacts: Rainer Filitz, Joachim Henkel 

Value appropriation in modular technical systems

In our research we investigate strategies for firms how to increase value capture from technical modular products.

Contacts: Alexander Hoffmann, Joachim Henkel

Lead Users inside Producer Firms

In a series of projects we investigate the behavior and contribution of "Embedded Lead Users". Embedded Lead Users integrate dual roles - being both firm employees and users of the firm's products. Our research to date shows that they are more innovative at work as well as more customer-oriented than other employees.

Contact: Christina Raasch, with Tim Schweisfurth

EU research project: Synthetic Biology

As part of the EU research project ST-FLOW in the field of Synthetic Biology, involving 15 universities (Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas, Imperial College of Science, Eidgenössische Technische Hochschule Zürich, and others), we deepen the understanding of economic aspects of Synthetic Biology as commercialization, standardization and patenting of biological parts.

Contact: Philipp Pfingstag, Joachim Henkel

Openness in the music business

Most record labels consider strong protection of their intellectual property to be essential to appropriate value from their content. The emergence of file sharing networks like Napster a couple of years ago made it very easy for users to obtain illegal copies of music for free. Consequently, most record labels introduced technologies such as Digital Rights Management (DRM) to protect their content against piracy. In contrast to their previous behavior, all major record labels recently decided not use DRM any more for downloads in the Internet. Furthermore, an increasing number of artists releases their music under Creative Commons licenses that explicitely allow users to share and/or remix their songs. This research project aims to understand this trend towards a lower level of technical and legal protection. In particular, we want to identify the drivers and motivations for the increased openness, the experiences made so far and the rationale behind the different ways of handling intellectual property.

Contacts: Prof. Dr. Joachim Henkel, Dr. Johannes Wechsler

Openness in the embedded component business

Open Source Software, especially Linux, have gained enormous importance in the embedded component business over the past few years. An increasing number of embedded component firms are offering support for Linux and also disclose part of their developments by making (some) of their source code public. This research project aims to understand what is driving openness - openness with regard to making driver source code public - in the embedded component business, and how increasing openness might affect competition in the industry.

Contacts: Prof. Dr. Joachim Henkel, Dr. Simone Schöberl

Open Source Software

Open source software has gained popularity in recent years and is being increasingly used by firms, partly even for crucial applications. Often, they also develop the software in the process.In this study we will analyze, in cooperation with a partner, the potential that an open release of these improvements and developments - and also completely internally developed software - can have. Simultaneously we will investigate have to implement this in firms.

Contacts: Prof. Dr. Joachim Henkel, Prof. Dr. Oliver Alexy

Satisfaction of Entrepreneurs

"Happiness" research aims to find out which events make people happier. Relating to entrepreneurship, it was found that entrepreneurs are happier in general despite their additional burdon of being exposed to higher personal risks. Aim of the empirical research project is to gain more information about the various influencing variables of the satisfaction of entrepreneurs.
Additional research questions are: Are entrepreneurs naturally more complacent? Can one further differentiate between different types of entrepreneurs (sole proprietorship, mid tier, freelance)? How does satisfaction change during the course of time?

Contacts: Prof. Dr. Jörn Block, Prof. Dr. Marcus Wagner

Necessity vs. Opportunity Entrepreneurship

Literature often makes the distinction between entrepreneurs that found their firm out of necessity (necessity entrepreneurs) and those that found their firm out of opportunity (opportunity entrepreneurs). In this project both types of entrepreneur are compared and examines in respect to the long-term success of the firm. Research questions include: Are opportunity entrepreneurs more successful than necessity entrepreneurs? Is assistance of necessity entrepreneurs economically reasonable?

Contacts: Prof. Dr. Jörn Block, Prof. Dr. Marcus Wagner

Environmental Innovations und R&D-Cooperations

The aim of the study of environmental innovations and R&D cooperations is first and foremost to work out possible specialities of environmental innovations. The latter are understood to be those innovations in an economy that result in a reduction of environmental pollution. To answer this question, manufacturing firms from all over Europe were polled.

Focal point of this study so far have been the influence of environmental management systems on the development of environmental product and process innovations as well as the analysis of cooperations between firms in the area of environmental innovations. IT was found that the implementation of environmental management systems positively influences the probability that firms carry out environmental innovations and that environmentally focused R&D cooperations mostly take place in isolated cases.

Contacts: Prof. Dr. Marcus Wagner

Group Influence in Network Markets

Network markets are characterized by the fact that the utility gained from a network good is positively correlated with the number of consumers of this good. In the context of this research project, we will examine empirically and theoretically what influence adopters of an innovative network good have on consumers who are not yet in the network. The implications for innovation management will be focused on specifically.

Innovation in Family Firms

Qualitative research has shown that family firms, in contrast to non-family firms, follow a more long-term oriented corporate policy. Reasons for this include the conservation of corporate traditions as well as the coalescence of ownership and management. Within the scope of the project we will review if family firms pursue a fairly long-term innovation strategy, with the help of a large panel data set. Both bayesian and non-bayesian approaches are employed in this study.

Contacts: Prof. Dr. Joachim Henkel, Prof. Dr. Jörn Block

Innovativity of Parent Companies and Family Firms

On the basis of an exceptional dataset with balance sheet figures, owner and patent information, large US firms will be examined in regard to their innovativity. The results show that parent companies register more patents and receive more patent citations than other firms, as opposed to family firms, who register less patents and receive less patent citations.

Contacts: Jörn Block , Frank Spiegel in cooperation with Danny Miller and Peter Jaskiewic

Funktionenübergreifendes Patentmanagement in Familienunternehmen

In innovative firms the management of intellectual property plays an important role. Based on Stewardship Theory it will be examined why family firms align their patent management more cross-functionally than non-family firms. Basis for this study is a survey of over 200 innovative German firms.

Contacts: Jörn Block, Frank Spiegel, Hans Zischka, Joachim Henkel

Technological Diversification of Family Firms

On the basis of patent registrations by large US firms, we analyze the technological diversification of these firms. One question raised is if family firms have a more diverse patent portfolio than non-family firms in order to ensure their continued existance.

Contacts: Frank Spiegel, Jörn Block

The Role of Patents in Venture Capital Financing

Existing patents can be an important criterion for selection of hi-tech start ups. Patents accomplish two main functions. Firstly, they secure the owner's property rights, deterring potential imitators. Secondly, they can be used as a signal of quality for the underlying technology. By means of an empirical study of European Venture Capital investors, we examine various issues concerning the meaning and function of patents when raising Venture Capital.

Contacts: Daniel Hoenig, Joachim Henkel

Defensive Publishing

"Defensive Publishing" is the practice of publishing an innovation with the goal of preventing other parties from registering a patent. This prevents the granting of exclusive rights for this invention. Aim of this study is to analyze utilization, legal foundations and economic implications of a defensive publishing strategy.
The project was carried out with Prof. Dr. Ann (Law, TUM) and Prof. Dr. Diepold (TUM, Electrical Engineering) and sponsored by the Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft.

Contacts: Prof. Dr. Joachim Henkel, Dr. Stefanie Lernbecher

Licensing of Patents

One must differentiate between two cases concerning the licensing of patents. If the underlying technology is new to the licensee, it is real technology licensing and is solely accompanied by the patent licensing. If the licensee has effected the patented invention and merely needs the license to acquire a legal right to use it is "pure" patent licensing. It is a sign of inefficiency in the patent system. This raises the important question of how many patent licenses are not accompanied by technology licenses. We investigate empirically the hypothesis that this is the case for a majority of patent licenses.

Contact: Joachim Henkel

IP Modularity in Technology and Software Products

The success of hi-tech startups is substantially determined by their ability to manage very complex products and to develop and refine these more quickly. With modular product architectures it is possible to distribute the development process evenly among various organizational entities and to accelerate the commercialization of innovation. The widespread application of Open source components helps save in new product developments but also means that intellectual property (IP) has to be considered in the product architecture and must be professionally managed. Using concrete examples, we derive strategic recommendations in our research for decision makers in the software and hi-tech industry.

Contacts: Josef Waltl, Joachim Henkel

Organization of the Technology Transfer in Universities

The transfer of academic research into the industry has become more important in the last decade. This has led to a professionalization and institutionalization of so-called Technology Transfer Bureaus around Europe. However, a unified organizational model for technology transfer activities has yet to be implemented. In cooperation with the Université Libre de Bruxelles (ULB), we examine the organizational models and their implications. For that purpose we will analyze and evaluate fifteen Technology Transfer Bureaus.

Contacts: Anja Schön, Joachim Henkel