Bridging the mutual knowledge gap: Coordination costs and the commercialization of science

R. Kotha
Gerard GEORGE, Singapore Management University
K. Srikanth


We examine why commercialization of interdisciplinary research, especially from distant scientific domains, is different from commercialization of inventions from specialized or proximate domains. We argue that anticipated coordination costs arising from the need to transfer technology to licensee firms and from the need for an inventor team's members to work together to further develop a technology significantly impact commercialization outcomes. We use a sample of 3,776 university invention disclosures to test whether variation in the types of experience of the scientists on a team influences the likelihood that an invention will be licensed. We proffer evidence to support our hypotheses that anticipated coordination costs influence whether an invention is licensed and that specific forms of team experience attenuate such coordination costs. The implications of these findings for theories of coordination, innovation, and entrepreneurship are discussed.