Science and Engineering Ethics

, Volume 19, Issue 3, pp 799–812 | Cite as

Positive Organizational Outcomes Associated with a Penchant for Openness

  • G. Steven McMillan
  • Debra L. Casey
Original Paper


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.


Openness Technology Science 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Penn State AbingtonAbingtonUSA
  2. 2.Cabrini CollegeRadnorUSA

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