This paper analyses how firms’ degree of openness and innovativeness influence their use of formal and informal appropriation mechanisms. Patents, trademarks, copyrights, and design rights are formal appropriation mechanisms. Secrecy, lead-time, and complexity are examples of informal appropriation mechanisms. Both external search breadth and depth are positively associated with firms’ use of informal appropriation mechanisms, while only external search breadth is positively associated with formal appropriation mechanisms. Firms’ degree of radical (incremental) innovation orientation is negatively (positively) associated with their use of formal appropriation mechanisms. Analysis of the joint impact of openness and innovativeness, suggests that for radical innovators it is external search breadth (rather than depth) that has a positive association with the use of informal appropriation mechanisms. In contrast, for radical innovators external search depth (rather than breadth) is associated with the use of formal appropriation mechanisms. For incremental innovators, external search breadth (rather than depth) is associated with the use of both formal and informal appropriation mechanisms.
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- Appropriation Mechanisms, Formal Appropriation, Informal Appropriation, External Search Openness, Incremental Innovators, Radical Innovators