The Scientific Openness Decision Model: “Gaming” the Technological and Scientific Outcomes

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Abstract. Open innovation has been examined a great deal in the last few years in the technology management and innovation literature, but its critical aspect - scientific openness - has been debated for centuries. The purpose of this paper is to elucidate the arguments for and against scientific openness. Using concepts from game theory, we develop the Scientific Openness Decision Model linking the strategic decision for openness/secrecy and the resultant business environment. We then empirically test that model using data from 118 companies across 54 industries. Openness, measured by scientific publications, is found to be a strong predictor of both positive technological and scientific outcomes for firms. These findings are examined to determine the relative merits of a strategy of scientific openness versus secrecy, and future research possibilities are discussed. (C) 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

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