The strategic allocation of inventors to R&D collaborations Articles uri icon

publication date

  • January 2021

start page

  • 144

end page

  • 169


  • 1


  • 42

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0143-2095

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1097-0266


  • In this paper, we suggest that staffing decisions in R&D alliances can reduce the inherent tension between value creation and value protection faced by participating firms. By considering R&D workers a primary source of knowledge leakage, we analyze the role of their intellectual property (IP) protection in shaping the misappropriation threat posed by the partner. We rely on patent ownership and inventorship data to analyze the selection of individuals for R&D collaborations in the pharmaceutical industry between 1991 and 2010. Our results suggest that an inventor's strength of IP protection is an important determinant in allocation decisions since it contributes to offsetting leakage risks in the alliance. The effect is especially strong in alliances that anticipate higher hazards.


  • collaboration; copatents; inventors; r&d; technology leakage