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Distinguishing between appropriability and appropriation: A systematic review and a renewed conceptual framing

Pia Hurmelinna-Laukkanen and Jialei Yang

Research Policy, 2022, vol. 51, issue 1

Abstract: This study systematically reviews 200 articles published over the past three decades to reveal how appropriability and appropriation have been explained and how those perspectives resonate with developments in the innovation environment. Our results show that despite the extensive stream of literature, little effort has been made to systematically advance theory on appropriability and appropriation. Based on and extending prior literature, we propose a conceptual framing that distinguishes appropriability and appropriation, and that explains how innovating organizations build their readiness to benefit from innovation and how they realize that potential. We outline appropriability as the potential to benefit from an innovation, which accrues through instruments of appropriability: isolating appropriability mechanisms and complementary assets; and appropriation as the realization of that potential, which manifests in private and social benefits when the instruments are employed in processes for exclusion, leverage, or disclosure. We highlight the strategic importance of aligning these elements and appropriability conditions in realizing appropriation outcomes. The paper closes with a discussion on the framework's applications and relevant future research avenues.

Keywords: Appropriability; Appropriation; Innovation; Systematic literature review (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: K20 O31 O32 O34 O36 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2022
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
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DOI: 10.1016/j.respol.2021.104417

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