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Why do Knowledge-Intensive Entrepreneurial Firms Publish their Innovative Ideas?

Hayter, CS and AN Link (2018). Why do Knowledge-Intensive Entrepreneurial Firms Publish their Innovative Ideas? Academy of Management Perspectives, 32(1), 141-155.

Based on a national survey of publicly funded research projects at entrepreneurial firms, nearly 50% of the funded projects lead to publications relating to underlying research, an effect more pronounced among university-affiliated firms. The fact that knowledge-intensive entrepreneurial firms publish their innovative ideas seems counterintuitive because publishing discloses ideas important to their market position. The literature holds at least two explanations for why such firms publish: Firms use competitive publication logic to invalidate or preempt intellectual property protection, and (more recently) scholarship holds that entrepreneurial firms use accretive publication logic to attract financial resources, enhance the reputation of in-house scientists, and obtain new technologies critical to the development of new products. After offering explanations as to why knowledge-intensive entrepreneurial firms publish, we examine the benefits and costs of doing so, examine under which conditions firms should publish, and articulate implications for future research.

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