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Knowledge protection in knowledge‐intensive business services

Knowledge protection in knowledge‐intensive business services Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to examine the issue of knowledge protection in knowledge‐intensive business services (KIBS). In particular, it addresses four research questions: do KIBS firms perceive the necessity to protect their knowledge? If so, do they protect it? What method (or combinations of methods) they typically use? What are the main factors affecting the approaches to knowledge protection adopted by these companies? Design/methodology/approach – The paper illustrates and discusses the findings of a survey of 471 KIBS companies located in the Northeast of Italy and operating in three different sectors: IT Services, Design and Communication, Professional Services. Findings – The study classifies the types of knowledge protection mechanisms and investigates similarities and differences in knowledge protection between KIBS operating in distinct sectors, having different size, and pursuing different knowledge management strategies. Practical implications – The outcomes of the investigation can have some important implications from a managerial viewpoint. In particular, the study provides food for though to both CEOs of KIBS companies regarding the mechanisms of knowledge protection, and to policy makers about the possible public policies that may help companies to protect their competitive knowledge capital without hindering their networks of interaction. Originality/value – The issue of knowledge protection is relatively new in the literature of KIBS, and findings are quite controversial. In particular, the state‐of‐the‐art research shows that there are some important gaps that the paper tries to fill. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Intellectual Capital Emerald Publishing

Knowledge protection in knowledge‐intensive business services

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References (39)

Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
Copyright © 2013 Emerald Group Publishing Limited. All rights reserved.
ISSN
1469-1930
DOI
10.1108/14691931311323841
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to examine the issue of knowledge protection in knowledge‐intensive business services (KIBS). In particular, it addresses four research questions: do KIBS firms perceive the necessity to protect their knowledge? If so, do they protect it? What method (or combinations of methods) they typically use? What are the main factors affecting the approaches to knowledge protection adopted by these companies? Design/methodology/approach – The paper illustrates and discusses the findings of a survey of 471 KIBS companies located in the Northeast of Italy and operating in three different sectors: IT Services, Design and Communication, Professional Services. Findings – The study classifies the types of knowledge protection mechanisms and investigates similarities and differences in knowledge protection between KIBS operating in distinct sectors, having different size, and pursuing different knowledge management strategies. Practical implications – The outcomes of the investigation can have some important implications from a managerial viewpoint. In particular, the study provides food for though to both CEOs of KIBS companies regarding the mechanisms of knowledge protection, and to policy makers about the possible public policies that may help companies to protect their competitive knowledge capital without hindering their networks of interaction. Originality/value – The issue of knowledge protection is relatively new in the literature of KIBS, and findings are quite controversial. In particular, the state‐of‐the‐art research shows that there are some important gaps that the paper tries to fill.

Journal

Journal of Intellectual CapitalEmerald Publishing

Published: Apr 12, 2013

Keywords: Knowledge management; Data management; Data security; Knowledge‐intensive business services; Knowledge protection; Survey; Italy

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