Invention Quality and Entrepreneurial Earnings: The Role of Prior Employment Variety


Entrepreneurship: Theory and Practice

March 2016, vol. 40, n°2, pp.381-400

Departments: Strategy & Business Policy, GREGHEC (CNRS)

We use creativity theory to analyze the effects of occupational job variety and industry variety on invention quality, and entrepreneurial earnings. We test our ideas with survey data from 770 inventor–entrepreneurs who commercialized their own inventions. Results suggest that occupational and industry variety substitute for each other in positively affecting invention quality whereas a lack of industry variety is associated with greater entrepreneurial earnings. Results are consistent with the idea that high levels of both occupational and industry variety enables the generation and discovery of inventions, but these ideas are usually not technically feasible or financially viable