To own or not to own! A property rights perspective on services in technology licensing

  • Michael Ehret


Ownership and contractual aspects of services have caught the attention of service research early on (e.g. Judd 1964, Regan 1963) but were not addressed by consistent research programs. In recent years a growing range of researchers is coming to terms with property rights related aspects of service research. (2004) even suggested a non-ownership perspective as a consistent framework for highlighting the peculiar management challenges of services in contrast to goods as well as a way to pay duty to the wide spectrum of phenomena approached from a service perspective. A lot of contradictions resulting from the intangibility, inseparability, heterogeneity and perishability framework could be resolved. E.g. non-ownership concepts can be used to highlight services that are relying on the use of physical assets as e.g. car rental or machine-leasing services in a consistent manner. There, services are a way to provide benefits to users without requiring them to own the underlying assets. Goods would be characterized by the transfer of ownership that asigns all remaining responsibilities to the customers. Thus, a common ground of property rights approaches and services seems to stem from the make-or-buy considerations implied by many economic decisions.


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© Betriebswirtschaftlicher Verlag Dr. Th. Gabler | GWV Fachverlage GmbH, Wiesbaden 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael Ehret
    • 1
  1. 1.Marketing-DepartmentFreie Universität BerlinBerlin

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