Term Paper: Managers Protect Intellectual Property Rights

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[. . .] Other companies adopted the strategy of secrecy, by never putting important information in writing. Often, this involves keeping a specific key bit of knowledge secret, without which the product will not function.

A third strategy is what the authors call "internal guangxi," which refers to Chinese social networks that govern societal behavior. By building strong relationships with key Chinese workers, Western managers can exert social pressure on them to obey Western standards of IP protocols. In part, this strategy involves educating the workers about the importance of IP protections. A fourth strategy is "external guangxi," which requires building relationships with external bodies and institutions. Official bodies in China have significant power, and can exert influence over Chinese managers. Developing relationships with customs managers, for example, can help keep counterfeited goods from reaching export markets by blocking off transportation links outside of the country. The fifth strategy is to educate the customer, for example getting the message out that low-quality counterfeits do not meet customer needs. Customers then recognize that the official brand is the best one to purchase.

The authors note that these strategies have varying degrees of success, but that they are adopted widely among Western firms operating in China. The authors also hypothesize that these techniques will be valuable outside of China as well, even in developed markets.

Works Cited:

Keupp, M.; Beckenbauer, A. & Gassmann, O. (2009). How managers protect intellectual property rights in China using de facto strategies. R&D Management. Vol. 39 (2) 211-224.

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"Managers Protect Intellectual Property Rights."  Essaytown.com.  November 12, 2012.  Accessed October 18, 2019.