The Inventor’s Role: Was Schumpeter Right?

37 Pages Posted: 8 Oct 2020

See all articles by Pontus Braunerhjelm

Pontus Braunerhjelm

Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) - Department of Infrastructural and Urban Planning (INFRA); Örebro University - Swedish Entrepreneurship Forum

Roger Svensson

Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN)

Date Written: 2007

Abstract

According to Schumpeter, the creative process of economic development can be divided into the three distinguishable stages of invention, innovation (commercialization) and imitation. Following this theory, invention and innovation require different skills. This paper tests whether the invention and innovation stages should be undertaken by different agents. We also show why there is a rationale for the Schumpeterian entrepreneur to also include the inventor in the innovation process. Merging the two enhances the possibilities of successful commercialization since the inventor may further adapt the innovation to customer needs, transmit information and reduce uncertainty. This serves to expand the market opportunities for the entrepreneur. The empirical analysis is based on a survey covering Swedish patents granted to individuals and small firms. The results show that profitability increases by 21 percent when the patent is licensed or sold to an entrepreneur, or if the inventor is employed in an entrepreneurial firm, as compared to commercialization undertaken by the inventor. Another important result is that, irrespective of commercialization mode, an active involvement of the inventor is shown to have a positive impact on performance.

Keywords: entrepreneur, inventor, innovations, commercialization

JEL Classification: 031, 032, M13

Suggested Citation

Braunerhjelm, Pontus and Svensson, Roger, The Inventor’s Role: Was Schumpeter Right? (2007). IFN Working Paper No. 690, 2007, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3677823 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3677823

Pontus Braunerhjelm

Royal Institute of Technology (KTH) - Department of Infrastructural and Urban Planning (INFRA) ( email )

SE-100 44 Stockholm
Sweden
+46 8 790 9114 (Phone)
+46 8 411 7436 (Fax)

Örebro University - Swedish Entrepreneurship Forum ( email )

Södra Kungstornet
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Stockholm, 11156
Sweden

Roger Svensson (Contact Author)

Research Institute of Industrial Economics (IFN) ( email )

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Stockholm, SE-102 15
Sweden
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