Cui bono? The selective revealing of knowledge and its implications for innovative activity

Oliver Alexy, Gerard George, Ammon J Salter

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

170 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Current theories of how organizations harness knowledge for innovative activity cannot convincingly explain emergent practices whereby firms selectively reveal knowledge to their advantage. We conceive of selective revealing as a strategic mechanism to reshape the collaborative behavior of other actors in a firm's innovation ecosystem. We propose that selective revealing may provide an effective alternative to known collaboration mechanisms, particularly under conditions of high partner uncertainty, high coordination costs, and unwilling potential collaborators. We specify conditions when firms are more likely to reveal knowledge and highlight some boundary conditions for competitor reciprocity. We elaborate on strategies that allow firms to exhibit managerial agency in selective revealing and discuss selective revealing's implications for theories of organization and open innovation and for management practice.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)270-291
JournalAcademy of Management Review
Volume38
Issue number2
Early online date28 Sep 2012
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2013

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Cui bono? The selective revealing of knowledge and its implications for innovative activity'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this