We're Leaking, and Everything's Fine: How and Why Companies Deliberately Leak Secrets
Posted: 26 Oct 2015 Last revised: 30 Oct 2015
Date Written: October 25, 2015
Although the protection of secrets is often vital to the survival of organizations, at other times organizations can benefit by deliberately leaking secrets to outsiders. We explore how and why this is the case. We identify two dimensions of leaks: (1) whether the information in the leak is factual or concocted and (2) whether leaks are conducted overtly or covertly. Using these two dimensions, we identify four types of leaks: informing, dissembling, misdirecting, and provoking. We also provide a framework to help managers decide whether or not they should leak secrets.
Keywords: secrecy, trade secrets, secrets, leaking, knowledge management, strategy, innovation, intellectual property
JEL Classification: 034, M00
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation