Leonhard Dobusch

Academic CV





Current Reseach Project 

Organizing Creativity under Regulatory Uncertainty: Alternative Approaches to Intellectual Property

The FWF-funded research project is being carried out in partnership with Prof. Dr. Sigrid Quack, Universität Duisburg-Essen

Short description: 

Critiques of dominant approaches towards the legal protection of creative outputs through patent and copyright law have led to the emergence of alternative approaches such as open licensing models. These alternative approaches have in common the goal of fostering creative recombination based on broader access to knowledge and products (in the sense of a “public domain”) through private regulation. Research on alternative regulatory approaches has been dominated by legal and economic studies with a focus on the macro level. So far, however, little attention has been given to the theoretical and empirical study of the creativity-shaping effects of alternative approaches at the level of organizational and professional practices. Synthesizing practice and institutional theories from business and organization studies, the project will develop a regulation-as-a-practice meso-level approach through a comparative analysis of the fields of pharma (studying alternatives to patents) and music (studying alternatives to copyright). This project will thus investigate how organizational actors understand, structure and use alternative regulatory approaches and how the organization of creative processes differs in such cases from those operating under dominant approaches to intellectual property rights. In so doing, this project aims to provide (1) an empirical mapping of alternative approaches, their perceived impacts on regulatory uncertainty, and the ways they are enacted through practices in creative processes; (2) a comparative analysis of creative practices and ways of dealing with regulatory uncertainty under dominant and alternative intellectual property regimes; and (3) developing a conceptual model of the interrelationship between regulatory uncertainty and creative processes from a regulation-as-practice meso-level perspective. The results of the project will contribute to a better theoretical and empirical understanding of the implications of dominant and alternative approaches for reducing and inducing regulatory uncertainty in creative processes.

Start of project and duration:

  • Project start: 1st of February 2021 
  • Duration: three years 

Expired Reseach Project 

Organizing Creativity under Regulatory Uncertainty: Challenges of Intellectual Property




The research project is part of the interdisciplinary DFG-funded research group on "Organized Creativity" and led jointly with Prof. Dr. Sigrid Quack, Universität Duisburg-Essen.

Short description:

Regulatory uncertainty related to intellectual property (IP) rights has become ubiquitous in creative and innovative processes. IP rights, which originally sought to promote creativity by granting copyrights and patents to creators, and thereby allowing them to form reliable expectations about future returns, are increasingly portrayed as a source of uncertainty. In this study, we examine how actors cope in practice with IP-related uncertainty throughout the creative process, thereby providing an empirical and conceptual micro-foundation of these countervailing forces.

Start of project and duration:

  • Project start: 1st of June 2016
  • Duration: three years 
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