Positive Organizational Outcomes Associated with a Penchant for Openness

G. Steven McMillan, Debra L. Casey

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The tension between scientific openness versus secrecy has existed for centuries (Hull 1985). However, both academics and practitioners have recently argued that openness by private firms has many positive attributes. The purpose of this research effort is to review the extant literature on openness and to develop hypotheses regarding its impact on organizational outcomes. We then use a unique database to test the idea with 87 companies. Our findings are that openness is beneficial to the firm from a science, technological, and financial perspective and, perhaps, to the employees from an ethical viewpoint. The managerial and societal implications are also discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)799-812
Number of pages14
JournalScience and Engineering Ethics
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1 2013

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Issues, ethics and legal aspects
  • Health(social science)
  • Health Policy
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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