Attraction at First Sight? Exploring and Categorizing Determinants that make Scientific Knowledge Attractive to Innovators

Susanne Beck, Karin Beukel, Marion Poetz

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperResearchpeer-review


Innovators are met with substantial amount of information on new scientific discoveries that could potentially be of interest to them. But how do innovators select the piece of scientific knowledge they are ready to spend time on investigating further, potentially resulting into university-industry collaborations or patenting-licensing deals? This study explores the factors that determine whether scientific knowledge is attractive to innovators at first sight. Conceptually, innovators’ early R&D decision processes are portrayed from a Stimulus-Organisms-Response (S-O-R) perspective using the effect model AIDA (Attention ? Interest ? Desire ? Action) as its point of departure. Based on this framework, interviews with a theoretical sample of innovators were conducted to identify and categorize determinants of innovators’ perceived attractiveness of scientific knowledge at first sight. Overall, 56 determinants were identified and structured along six categories: source of knowledge, knowledge characteristics, transfer channel, recipients’ characteristics, expected outcome, and context. By doing so, this paper provides a first overview of early-stage decision-making involved in the process of absorbing scientific knowledge for innovation. Understanding the innovators’ perspective is essential for preparing scientific discoveries to be seized: by considering the factors identified in this study, policy makers and universities can contribute to better facilitating the successful transformation of scientific discoveries into innovations. The paper concludes by presenting implications for innovation studies and highlights avenues for further research. The applied categorization specifically outlines factors that could address the omitted variable bias in prior studies.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2018
Number of pages45
Publication statusPublished - 2018
EventDRUID18 Conference - Copenhagen Business School, Frederiksberg, Denmark
Duration: 11 Jun 201813 Jun 2018
Conference number: 40


ConferenceDRUID18 Conference
LocationCopenhagen Business School
Internet address


  • Scientific knowledge transfer
  • Innovator’s perception
  • Value capture
  • Open innovation
  • Science-based innovation

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