Mitigating the Risk of Knowledge Leakage in Knowledge Intensive Organizations: a Mobile Device Perspective

In the current knowledge economy, knowledge represents the most strategically significant resource of organizations. Knowledge-intensive activities advance innovation and create and sustain economic rent and competitive advantage. In order to sustain competitive advantage, organizations must protect knowledge from leakage to third parties, particularly competitors. However, the number and scale of leakage incidents reported in news media as well as industry whitepapers suggests that modern organizations struggle with the protection of sensitive data and organizational knowledge. The increasing use of mobile devices and technologies by knowledge workers across the organizational perimeter has dramatically increased the attack surface of organizations, and the corresponding level of risk exposure. While much of the literature has focused on technology risks that lead to information leakage, human risks that lead to knowledge leakage are relatively understudied. Further, not much is known about strategies to mitigate the risk of knowledge leakage using mobile devices, especially considering the human aspect. Specifically, this research study identified three gaps in the current literature (1) lack of in-depth studies that provide specific strategies for knowledge-intensive organizations based on their varied risk levels. Most of the analysed studies provide high-level strategies that are presented in a generalised manner and fail to identify specific strategies for different organizations and risk levels. (2) lack of research into management of knowledge in the context of mobile devices. And (3) lack of research into the tacit dimension of knowledge as the majority of the literature focuses on formal and informal strategies to protect explicit (codified) knowledge.


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