The Generative Properties of Secrecy in Idea Development: A Case Study in Pharmaceutical Innovation

Research output: Working paperResearchpeer-review


This paper intends to illuminate the dynamic and generative role of (in)formal secrecies in idea generation processes. Moving beyond functionalist approaches, this paper focuses on the social dynamics of the relationship between secrecy and creativity. In this case study, secrecy was not only effective in order to prevent some loss of a pre-defined, already existing valuable idea as the property of an organization or a group of individuals. Instead, we found secrecy generative in various overlapping and intersecting modes that affected the idea trajectory as well as its valuation.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationBerlin
PublisherFreie Universität Berlin
Number of pages18
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Externally publishedYes
SeriesOrganized Creativity Discussion Paper


  • Secrecy
  • Creativity
  • Idea trajectory
  • Innovation
  • Pharmaceutical industry
  • Trust
  • Value

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