By Jana Costas (Europa-Universität Viadrina) and Christopher Grey
Every day in organizations people keep secrets, ranging from
product and strategy plans to data protection to confidential gossip in
corridors. In fact, it’s difficult to imagine an organization which has no
secrets at all. And keeping secrets can have many effects, for example creating
in-groups and out-groups in the workplace. Yet few people have tried to
research this fascinating phenomenon. In this paper, we explain why secrecy is
important and offer a framework for how to study it, distinguishing between
formal and informal secrecy and showing how these affect identity and power
relationships in organizations.
Costas, J. and Grey, C. (2014). Bringing Secrecy into
the Open: Towards a Theorization of the Social Processes of Organizational
Secrecy. Organization Studies 35(10): 1423-1447.
Links: Open access version; published article.