The impact of technology transfer office characteristics on university invention disclosure

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Original languageEnglish
Article number5624577
Pages (from-to)212-227
Journal / PublicationIEEE Transactions on Engineering Management
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - May 2011
Externally publishedYes


The authors examine faculty disclosure of inventions, which is an important precursor of university licensing. The authors hypothesize that invention disclosure (ID) is an increasing function of R&D expenditures, faculty size, faculty quality, royalty share, and technology transfer office (TTO) independence from university funding. The authors also argue that, because TTO size is a measure of TTO agent research expertise, large TTOs should be able to build stronger relationships with a broader range of faculty, which should attract more faculties to disclose inventions. In addition, the creation of such strong TTOfaculty relationships requires tacit knowledge of faculty skills, interests, and motivations, and the acquisition of this knowledge takes time. Thus, TTO age should also positively influence ID. Analysis of data from 123 TTOs indicates that the number of IDs is positively related with federal R&D expenditures and TTO size, and negatively related with TTO funding independence. In contrast, faculty size, royalty share to inventors, and TTO age are positively and significantly correlated with the number of IDs only among universities with small TTOs, while faculty quality is positively and significantly correlated with the number of IDs only among universities with large TTOs. © 2006 IEEE.

Research Area(s)

  • Invention disclosure, resource-based view, tacit knowledge, technology evaluation, technology management, technology selection, technology transfer, university licensing

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