Research Seminar Archive
Business Management Research Seminar
Dr David Hannah, Simon Fraser University: Can they Keep Secrets? Employees and the Protection of Trade Secrets in Organizations.ABSTRACT
Organizations’ trade secrets (which can be chemical formulae, recipes, customer files, machinery designs, or many other types of information) can be valuable, enduring sources of competitive advantage if companies can keep them out of the hands of their competitors. A dilemma for organizations is that for secrets to be valuable, they must be shared with employees; however, once secrets are known by employees, they can divulge them to outsiders.
In my research I have used qualitative and quantitative methods to investigate how trade secret protection procedures (TSPPs) influence whether current and former employees are likely to protect trade secrets. Presently, we are investigating what factors influence employees’ acceptance of TSPPs, an investigation that we believe will inform not only our thinking about TSP but also the literatures on rule following and on formal control in organizations.