Innovators’ Preference Structures for Seizing Scientific Discoveries: A Mixed-method Approach

Susanne Beck, Karin Beukel, Marion Poetz

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperResearchpeer-review


Innovators are confronted with a 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 multi-study mixed-method paper investigates what makes scientific knowledge attractive to innovators at first sight. Conceptually, innovators’ early decision processes are portrayed from a Stimulus-Organisms-Response perspective. Empirically, we conduct in-depth interviews with a theoretical sample of international innovators (study 1; N=11) to identify determinants of innovators’ perceived attractiveness of scientific discoveries and structure them along six categories (source of knowledge, knowledge characteristics, transfer channel, recipients’ characteristics, expected outcome, and context). Based on this, we assess different preference bundles for seizing scientific discoveries in an adaptive choice-based conjoint analysis (study 2; N=40), revealing two major distinct clusters. While innovators in cluster 1 strongly prefer a bundle of determinants oriented towards generating immediate commercial value (exploitation focus), cluster 2 innovators value determinants related to collaboration and long-term learning (exploration focus). These findings hold essential implications for policy makers and universities, contributing to increasing the value captured for scientists, innovators and society in general.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2019
Number of pages40
Publication statusPublished - 2019
EventThe Academy of Management Annual Meeting 2019: Understanding the Inclusive Organization - Boston, United States
Duration: 9 Aug 201913 Aug 2019
Conference number: 79


ConferenceThe Academy of Management Annual Meeting 2019
CountryUnited States
Internet address


  • Scientific knowledge transfer
  • Innovator’s perception
  • Value capture
  • Open innovation
  • Sciencebased innovation
  • ACBC analysis
  • Mixed-method
  • Choice simulations

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