The management and security of trade secrets: An exploratory study

D. Richard Stead*, Adam R. Cross

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Trade secrets differ from intellectual property such as patents, trademarks and industrial designs in that, for the latter to receive legal protection, they must be placed in the public domain. By contrast, trade secrets are not disclosed but receive legal protection by virtue of the steps taken to keep them secret. This exploratory study seeks to provide a foundation for a general understanding of the nature and governance of trade secrets and their role in management practice. Propositions are developed and tested on their nature, location within the firm and the mechanisms that operate to keep them secure from betrayal to competitors.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)256-277
Number of pages22
JournalInternational Journal of Intellectual Property Management
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Anti-betrayal mechanisms
  • Confidential information
  • Information theft
  • Intellectual property management
  • Security
  • Trade secrets

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