Title page for ETD etd-03202010-175717


Document Type Master's Dissertation
Author Bromfield, Tracy Carolyn
URN etd-03202010-175717
Document Title Formalising intellectual property protection as a key indicator of the evolution of a developing country MNC
Degree MBA
Department Gordon Institute of Business Science
Supervisor
Advisor Name Title
Dr H Barnard Supervisor
Keywords
  • international business enterprises
Date 2008-04-01
Availability unrestricted
Abstract

Prior research on capability upgrading in developing country firms has emphasised the importance of gaining legitimacy in the public domain. For technology-based firms this implies disclosure of knowledge assets through patents and scientific publications. In the absence of a managed approach to intellectual property (IP) protection, this disclosure often takes place in a desultory manner with disappointing results. Therefore, this research focuses on the formalisation of IP as a key indicator of the evolution of a developing country technology-based MNC using Sasol as a case study. The paucity of research into South African firms compared to the abundance of literature on the evolution of firms from other developing countries provides further justification for this study.

Patent and publication data associated with Sasol (1955-2005) was analysed using multidimensional scaling and multiple regression techniques in order to examine the nature of disclosure. Patent value was estimated using forward citations and an adaptation of Putnamís Value Index, while journal impact factors served as a proxy for the value of scientific publications. The role of international connections was investigated by examining co-authorships.

The evidence suggests that formalisation of IP promotes an awareness of the purpose of disclosure, enhancing indigenous capability to appropriate returns from R&D and gain legitimacy within the global research community. This evolutionary trajectory may be accelerated by leveraging international research connections.

© 2007 University of Pretoria. All rights reserved. The copyright in this work vests in the University of Pretoria. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, without the prior written permission of the University of Pretoria

Please cite as follows:

Bromfield, TC, Formalising intellectual protection as a key indicator of the evolution of a developing country MNC, MBA dissertation, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, viewed yymmdd < http://upetd.up.ac.za/thesis/available/etd-03202010-175717/ >

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