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Strategic technology licensing in a supply chain

Qiao Zhang, Jianxiong Zhang, Georges Zaccour and Wansheng Tang

European Journal of Operational Research, 2018, vol. 267, issue 1, 162-175

Abstract: This paper deals with R&D investment and technology licensing in a supply chain formed of an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) and a contract manufacturer (CM). The R&D is conducted by the CM and the OEM agrees to pay a share of the cost. At the R&D stage, we assume that there are some uncertainties both in terms of performance of the developed technology and market uncertainties. These uncertainties are resolved in the sales stage, as technology matures and information about consumers’ preferences become available. Further, the OEM can license the technology to a third party and share the revenues with the CM. We characterize equilibrium pricing and licensing strategies in two scenarios, namely, the licensing decision is made before or after the uncertainties are resolved. A comparison of the two equilibria indicates that the OEM is indifferent between making the licensing decision in the first or the second stage in most cases. But when the market potential, competition intensity, royalty rate and revenue sharing rate are moderate, there exists a small region in the parameter space where the OEM prefers to make the licensing decision in Stage 2. Interestingly, we obtain that for a large region of the parameter space, the two partners have the same preferences in terms of licensing. It is also found that different probability distribution of stochastic technology efficiency results in different licensing strategies.

Keywords: Supply chain management; Cooperative R&D; Technology licensing (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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Handle: RePEc:eee:ejores:v:267:y:2018:i:1:p:162-175