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Can a firm find the balance between openness and secrecy? Towards a theory of an optimum level of disclosure

  • Farok J ContractorEmail author
COUNTERPOINT

Abstract

The purpose of this article is not merely to counter assertions about technology leakage/spillovers being innocuous or benevolent, but to go further and illuminate an under-researched question: How can companies 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.

Keywords

disclosure knowledge leakage knowledge spillovers intellectual assets 

Résumé

L’objectif de cet article n’est pas uniquement de contrer les affirmations selon lesquelles les fuites/retombées technologiques sont inoffensives ou bienveillantes, mais d’aller plus loin et d’éclairer une question sous-étudiée: Comment les entreprises peuvent-elles rechercher un équilibre optimal entre divulgation consciente et secret. L’article vise à élaborer une théorie de la divulgation optimale en identifiant les avantages et coûts éventuels de la divulgation ou de l’ouverture. Dans le paradigme 1, la plupart des entreprises trouvent que les résultats nets de la divulgation/de l’ouverture sont négatifs. Dans le paradigme 2, applicable à quelques entreprises multinationales fortement connectées ou en réseau ouvert, il pourrait y avoir des avantages nets sur un intervalle limité et jusqu’à un point optimal.

Resumen

El propósito de este artículo no es simplemente contrarrestar las aseveraciones sobre las fugas/derrames de tecnología que son inofensivos o benevolentes, sino ir más allá e iluminar la pregunta poco investigada: ¿cómo las empresas pueden buscar el balance óptimo entre la divulgación consciente y el secreto. Este artículo trabaja en pro de una teoría de divulgación óptima, mediante la identificación de los beneficios posibles y los costos de divulgación o apertura. En el Paradigma 1 la mayoría de las empresas encuentran que los beneficios netos o divulgación/apertura son negativos. En el Paradigma 2, aplicable a algunas pocas EMN altamente conectadas o de código abierto, podría haber beneficios neto en un rango limitado y hasta un punto óptimo.

Resumo

O objetivo deste artigo não é apenas contrapor afirmações sobre vazamento/transbordamento de tecnologia sendo inócuo ou benevolente, mas ir além e iluminar uma questão pouco pesquisada: como as empresas podem buscar o equilíbrio ideal entre revelação consciente e sigilo. O artigo trabalha no sentido de uma teoria da divulgação ideal, identificando possíveis benefícios e custos de divulgação ou transparência. No Paradigma 1, a maioria das empresas considera negativos os benefícios líquidos da divulgação/transparência. No Paradigma 2, aplicável a poucas MNEs em rede ou de código aberto, pode haver benefícios líquidos em um intervalo limitado e até um ponto ótimo.

摘要

本文的目的不仅仅是反驳关于技术泄漏/溢出效应无害或仁慈的断言, 而是进一步阐述一个研究不足的问题: 公司如何在有意披露和保密之间寻求最佳平衡。 本文通过识别披露或开放可能带来的收益和成本,开发最佳披露理论。在范式1中, 大多数公司认为披露/开放的净收益是负面的。在范式2中, 对少数高度网络化或开源的跨国公司来说, 在有限的范围内可以获得净收益,并达到最佳点。

Notes

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Copyright information

© Academy of International Business 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Rutgers Business SchoolRutgers UniversityNewarkUSA

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