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[Excerpt] Managing employees’ talent, promoting innovation, and improving productivity are critical challenges for organizations. Creative employees and the innovative products they develop can make a tremendous contribution to an organization’s success and competitive position. While employed inventors play an extremely important role in the production of an organization’s technological innovations, they are often either unrewarded or insufficiently rewarded for their achievements. The analysis and recommendations in this study present the argument that, contrary to common workplace practice, employers should consider a more employee-centric approach to intellectual property (“IP”) rights and other benefits. This will foster innovation within the workplace and encourage the development of successful IP products. In particular, employers should reconsider the current rigid practice of requiring employees to transfer all future product IP rights to the firm without significant compensation as well as the overall tendency to avoid attributing IP products to employed inventors. The need for such reform will prove critical in the digital era, especially in times of economic slowdown.


Suggested Citation

Yanisky-Ravid, Shlomit. (2013, May 19). “For a mess of pottage”: Incentivizing creative employees toward improved competitiveness. Cornell HR Review. Retrieved [insert date] from Cornell University, ILR School site:

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