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Eastern Academy of Management International 2019 Conference

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How Much of A Firm’s Proprietary Knowledge Should Be Disclosed, and How Much Kept Secret? Towards a Theory of an Optimum Level of Openness

Farok Contractor
Rutgers Business School  |  United States

Keywords: Knowledge spillovers; knowledge leakage; optimum level of openness

Abstract: The purpose of this article is to illuminate an under-researched question: How companies may seek the optimum balance between conscious disclosure and secrecy? The article works towards a theory of optimum disclosure, by identifying possible benefits and costs of disclosure or openness. In Paradigm 1 most companies find the net benefits of disclosure/openness to be negative. In Paradigm 2, applicable to a few highly networked or open-source MNEs, there could be net benefits over a limited range and up to an optimum point.


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