Smart-stolen tacit knowledge: institutional arrangements for invited piracy
by Laurent Scaringella
International Journal of Entrepreneurship and Small Business (IJESB), Vol. 22, No. 4, 2014

Abstract: Because it is considered an asset, knowledge is frequently protected by intellectual property rights and strong regime appropriability. Piracy has been studied widely in the literature as deterrents to R&D activity. These prior studies are mostly quantitative and focus on explicit knowledge; however, this article extends beyond these studies and considers both explicit and tacit knowledge in a qualitative exploration of three longitudinal case studies that examine one research centre's spin-offs. We distinguish a certain class of entrepreneurs we call 'smart pirate-entrepreneurs'. Smart pirate-entrepreneurs benefit from both explicit and tacit knowledge - instead of solely explicit knowledge - when maintaining a balance between these types of knowledge. The institutions that house these spin-offs, which we call 'smart stolen-institutions', benefit from a 'return on piracy' by multiplying royalty income from an increasing number of smart pirate-entrepreneurs. Both parties take advantage of an 'invited piracy business model' in the search for legitimacy.

Online publication date: Wed, 13-Aug-2014

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