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The importance of managing your new venture’s halo: The case of technology licensing

November 14, 2019 @ 12:00 pm - 1:00 pm

Speaker(s): Professor Ian McCarthy

Affiliation: Beedie School of Business, Simon Fraser University

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Because of their newness and smallness, start-up firms suffer from a lack organizational reputation. This impacts how customers, suppliers and investors perceive new ventures and their willingness to do business with them. Focusing on technology licensing in the biotechnology industry, I present research that shows how the ‘halo’ or reputational characteristics for the owners of the patents help explain why patents at some firms get licensed, while technological equivalent patents at other firms do not. The research finds that licensees are not just making licensing decisions based on the quality of a licensor’s patented technology, but also on the reputation of and technological fit with the licensor. For entrepreneurs and their new ventures, this research provides insights into the firm level factors that impact the propensity, speed and payoff of technology licensing.


Ian McCarthy, Ph.D is a Professor Technology and Operations Management at the Beedie School of Business, Simon Fraser University. Ian received his Ph.D from University of Sheffield, was a faculty member at the universities of Sheffield and Warwick. In 2003, he joined Simon Fraser University as a Canada Research Chair. He was also a Fulbright Scholar at the Georgia Institute of Technology studying the impacts of university innovation on local and national economies. He has published in leading management and engineering journals including: Academy of Management Review, Industry and Corporate Change, California Management Review, Technovation, Journal of Product Innovation Management, and Business Horizons. His work has also featured in the Economist, the Globe and Mail, Business Insider and other media outlets. He has a paper on the Social Media Honeycomb that is one of the most cited papers across all business, management, and economic journals in recent years. As an award-winning teacher, Ian has taught in executive education programs for companies and universities across the world.