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How should firms carry out technological diversification to improve their performance? An analysis of patenting of Korean firms

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This research aims to analyze how a firm's technological diversification strategies influence its financial performances, in terms of 'technological diversification' in broad technology sectors and 'technological concentration' on its own core technology, especially in the case of Korean large firms. The data used in the analysis were panel data encompassing the years between 1990 and 2006, which linked Korean firms' patent information registered in the United States Patent and Trademark Office to the financial data of those firms collected from Korea Investors Service, Inc. (Kis-Value). For the estimation of the panel data, a fixed effect model, which considers the individual firms' own effect on the financial performance, was used. Tobin's q was used as a dependent variable representing firm performance, while 'broad technology diversity' and 'core technology diversity' were used as the focal explanatory variables. The results show that a firm seeking to have more technological assets should invest in a broad technological diversification strategy in its search for new business opportunities; it should likewise concentrate on the core technology in order to maintain its financial performance.

Keywords: Tobin's q; fixed effect model; patent; technological concentration; technological diversification

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: Technology Management, Economics and Policy Program, Seoul National University, Seoul, Republic of Korea 2: Department of Industrial Engineering, Seoul National University, Seoul, Republic of Korea

Publication date: January 1, 2009

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