What motivates the engineers to patent?
A study at the Chinese R&D laboratories of a European MNC
Corporate R&D engineers, being usually the initiators of a patent, are important contributors to the patenting performance of their employers. Hence, patenting motives of R&D engineers encompass an interesting and promising research field. However, the literature on patenting motivation of the engineers in the corporate context is scarce. We apply self-determination theory on human motivation to investigate patenting motives of a sample of local R&D engineers in China employed by a European-based multi-national corporation. Factor analysis reveals four groups of motives: ""reward and recognition"", ""reputation and promotion"", ""making a contribution"" and ""interest and sense of achievement"". The results of multiple hierarchical regression show the influence of working climate on ""making a contribution"" and ""interest and sense of achievement"" motivation factors. Implications for patent management are discussed.