Title: National culture and the secrecy of innovations

Authors: Enric Serradell-Lopez, Victor Cavaller

Addresses: Department of Business Sciences, Open University of Catalonia, Av. Tibidabo, 43, 08035 Barcelona, Spain. ' Department of Information and Communication Sciences, Open University of Catalonia, Rambla Poblenou, 156, 08018 Barcelona, Spain

Abstract: The main objective of this paper is to provide greater understanding of the nature of secrecy in firms. It presents an effort to develop some links between management of the secrecy and its relationship with culture. Using measures from Hofstede|s (2001) work, we have linked some dimensions of national culture with CIS 3 EU survey database. The results show that some attributes of the culture in organisations as masculinity and uncertainty avoidance have impact on the tendency of the firms for not to patent and maintain secrecy of their innovations.

Keywords: trade secrets; patents; innovation; national cultures; knowledge management; secrecy; masculinity; uncertainty avoidance; Community Innovation Survey; CIS 3; European Union.

DOI: 10.1504/IJKL.2009.031197

International Journal of Knowledge and Learning, 2009 Vol.5 No.3/4, pp.222 - 234

Published online: 25 Jan 2010 *

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