Organisational Change and the Institutionalisation of University Patenting Activity in Italy
Minerva, Vol. 52, pp. 27-53, 2014
27 Pages Posted: 30 Jun 2010 Last revised: 26 Mar 2014
Date Written: June 29, 2010
In this paper, using a neo-institutional perspective, we model inter-temporal organisational responses applied to the diffusion and evolution of regulations and practices in university patenting activities. Our study is located in Italy, and it is based on the complete list of patent regulations issued by the population of Italian universities, between 1993 and 2009. We show that in environments characterised by high levels of centralization (i.e. Italy), once each university was allowed to define modes and rules for its own activities, they searched locally, adopting mimetic behaviours, replicating the practices of the most prestigious and visible academic institutions. We also show that, once legislatively re-constrained, the organisational solutions identified by universities were legitimated by the emergence of a community of practice that, developing a set of norms and routines, formed the basis for the occurrence of normative isomorphism. This sequence of different isomorphic behaviours generated severe constraints to the effectiveness of new regulatory policies. Cohercive isomorphism induced by state legislation, therefore, not only became unable to reach the targeted goals, but also indirectly reinforced the dynamics generated by normative isomorphism. Implications for theory and policy are discussed.
Keywords: University Patents, Patent Regulations, Institutional Change, Isomorphism
JEL Classification: O31, O32
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation