In his thesis, Dario Flückiger examined the patenting behavior of 69 automotive companies with European headquarters over the course of 3 years. Here is what he found:
- There is no significant difference in the number of patents between family and non-family firms
- However, patents of family firms are significantly less cited than that of non-family firms. This could be a sign of family firms innovating less radically with their innovations having less impact for the entire industry development
- In terms of sales growth and profitability, family firms were outperforming non-family firms
- Number of patents and patent citations both had a positive and significant effect on sales growth (measured with a 3-year time lag).
- However, interestingly, number of patents and patent citations had a negative and significant effect on profitability (measured with a 3-year time lag)
If you are interested in the full results, please send an email to nadine.kammerlander [at] whu.edu