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Creating Intellectual Properties : A Sensemaking Study.

Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

  • David Megginson
Publication date1999
Number of pages471
Awarding Institution
Place of PublicationLancaster
  • Lancaster University
Electronic ISBNs9780438571266
<mark>Original language</mark>English


Intellectual properties have received widespread notice as contributing to the value of organisations to a greater extent than material properties of land, buildings and equipment. The production of these properties is therefore a matter of considerable importance. This research examines the case of intellectual property developers in management development in Britain. A sensemaking study is undertaken, using conversations, sagas, mini-sagas, questionnaire and interviews. The questionnaire identified 11 intellectual property developers in Britain, whose properties were valued by a sample of 40 developers. Ten of these were interviewed, and from the interview data and the sagas and conversations, a number of intellectual properties were developed. First the legitimacy of identifying the existence of such a group was confirmed. Then the individual intellectual property developers were characterised. The intellectual property developers were differentiated from gurus and researchers, and the steps in coming to descriptions of the three types are revealed. A model that describes the processes by which the intellectual property developers saw themselves as creating their properties is evolved, and a competency framework is built up, but it is also critically juxtaposed with a story telling approach to specifying the role. The properties produced are then related to the literature on creativity, and the implications for future research, for sensemaking methodology and for the practice of intellectual property development, are spelled out. Critical theory and ipsative perspectives are introduced throughout the text to illuminate the process.