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In this article, we provide a compelling case for demonstrating ‘‘learning-bylicensing,’’ and we further investigate the moderating effect of specific licensed-knowledge attributes on the innovation performance of licensee firms. This case is based on a unique dataset from the China State of Intellectual Property Office regarding technology-licensing activities and spanning the years 2000–2010. Using this dataset we make a longitudinal analysis of the lagging learning effect that transferee firms experience when they in-license technology. The empirical results from 71 Chinese electronic-industry firms reconfirm the concept of ‘‘learning-by-licensing.’’ Moreover, the results also indicate that both technology complexity and technology generality, which are attributes of licensed knowledge, have positive moderating effects on the relationship between technology in-licensing and the subsequent innovation performance of licensee firms. However, such a positive moderating effect was not found for the newness of technology.
Original languageEnglish
JournalJournal of Technology Transfer
Issue number5
Pages (from-to)699-715
StatePublished - 2013

Bibliographical note

© The Author(s) 2012. This article is published with open access at

CitationsWeb of Science® Times Cited: 17

    Research areas

  • Technology licensing, Knowledge attributes, Technological learning, Innovation performance, China
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