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Inaugural lecture Prof Pedro M.M. de Faria: The stars look very different today: Innovation in times of knowledge dispersion

When:Tu 26-10-2021 16:15 - 17:00
Where:Aula Academy Building, Broerstraat 5, Groningen

In the inaugural lecture of Pedro de Faria, he focuses on how firms can find the right balance between knowledge sharing and knowledge protection.

Firms invest in innovation as a way to differentiate themselves from their competitors and gain competitive advantage. However, getting there is a balancing act and this became a more pressing issue with knowledge being increasingly dispersed. On the one hand, the process of creating innovations often times relies on joint work with other organizations. On the other hand, firms need to protect sensitive knowledge from potential imitators.

Pedro de Faria identifies three blind spots in our understanding of how innovation strategy can walk this fine line. First, existing research provides limited guidance on the unintended consequences of knowledge protection. Tools such as patents and secrecy as well as their implementation can have adverse consequences for collaboration activities. Second, when research analyses the decision making of managers about secrecy or patenting it typically makes the unrealistic assumption that managers consider all relevant information and make fully rational decisions on how and what knowledge to protect. It is much more likely that they oversimplify their decisions and take unnecessary risks. Third, a modern understanding of knowledge protection and how it affects knowledge creation should not end at the firm level and needs to include considerations for its impact at the societal level. Disadvantaged individuals might not have access to innovations, for example new drugs, when firms are overly restrictive with their knowledge protection. Addressing these blind spots will be a priority for Pedro de Faria’s future research program.

More information

Inaugural lecture: Prof Pedro M.M. de Faria

  • Title: The stars look very different today: Innovation in times of knowledge dispersion
  • Chair: Innovation Management
  • Faculty: Economics and Business Economics

Registration no later than 19 October via the registration form

Livestream on 26 October: www.rug.nl/digitale-oratie

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