Skip to main content

The Expressive Function of Trade Secret Law: Legality, Cost, Intrinsic Motivation, and Consensus

Buy Article:

$43.00 plus tax (Refund Policy)

In recent years, leading legal scholars have proposed many competing models for the expressive function of the law. This article attempts to organize and compare the competing models while examining a real-life dilemma—sharing confidential information when one moves from one company to another—and explores the mechanisms through which the law can affect people's behavior. The article examines the expressive impact that results when trade secret laws are experimentally “primed” on factors such as: intention to share confidential information, morality of sharing confidential information, perceived proportion of other employees who would share confidential information, and the likelihood of social approval by previous and current employers for sharing confidential information. Taking a path analysis approach, I discern which models (cost related, morality related, coordination based, or reflection of consensus) best explain the mechanism responsible for the expressive effect of legality. The comparison between the models illustrates the relative legal repercussions of price, consensus, and intrinsic motivation as they relate to employees' evaluations of the prevalence and desirability of trade secret sharing norms. Based on data collected from a sample of 260 high-tech employees in the Silicon Valley, the article demonstrates that—at least in the context of trade secret law—the expressive impact is based primarily on morality and less on the law's ability to impose social and career costs.
No References
No Citations
No Supplementary Data
No Article Media
No Metrics

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Bar-Ilan University

Publication date: 2009-03-01

  • Access Key
  • Free content
  • Partial Free content
  • New content
  • Open access content
  • Partial Open access content
  • Subscribed content
  • Partial Subscribed content
  • Free trial content
Cookie Policy
X
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more