A Behavioral Perspective on Inventors’ Mobility: The Case of Pharmaceutical Industry

Francesco Di Lorenzo, Paul Almeida

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperResearchpeer-review


Building on existing research on employee mobility, this paper investigates an inventor’s motivation to move and seeks to answer the question of which inventors move. This paper builds on behavioral and prospect theory, particularly, on the literature on managerial risk taking in order to explore the motivational influences on individual mobility across firms in the pharmaceutical industry - specifically how performance deviations from specific reference points (aspirations) explain the likelihood of mobility (a risky action). Our results suggest that when the inventor is performing above her aspiration levels (both historical and social), she is less likely to engage in mobility. For an inventor performing below her aspiration level, we found support for risk taking actions (i.e. more mobility) only for social aspiration levels. Thus mobility is most likely when inventors perform below their social aspiration levels.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2012
Number of pages29
Publication statusPublished - 2012
Externally publishedYes
EventThe Academy of Management Annual Meeting 2012: The Informal Economy - Boston, United States
Duration: 3 Aug 20127 Aug 2012
Conference number: 72


ConferenceThe Academy of Management Annual Meeting 2012
Country/TerritoryUnited States
OtherThe Informal Economy
Internet address


  • Aspiration levels
  • Inventors' mobility
  • Patents

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