A trade secrets framework and strategic approaches

Oleksandra Ozcan, David Grant Pickernell, Paul Trott

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Trade secrets are key assets for innovative, successful, companies. Compared to other intellectual property (IP), trade secrets require different approaches to protect and embed them into company innovation strategies. Previous literature has not, however, provided a comprehensive evaluation of the strategic approaches towards trade secrets. This paper benefits from a systematic literature review (SLR) method to examine trade secrecy approaches with a theoretical lens using both dynamic capabilities (DC) and resource-based view (RBV) approaches. Fifty articles are carefully selected and examined to build a ‘strategic directions and approaches’ framework for companies to protect and benefit from their trade secrets. This study therefore offers both academic and practical value by identifying a dynamic, structured, view of available trade secrecy approaches, the foundations for a unified trade secrecy framework, and a future research agenda.
Original languageEnglish
JournalIEEE Transactions on Engineering Management
Early online date20 Jul 2023
Publication statusEarly online - 20 Jul 2023


  • Dynamic capabilities
  • Trade secrecy approaches
  • resource-based view
  • Innovation approaches

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