Wednesday, 8 October 2014

Bringing Secrecy into the Open

By Jana Costas (Europa-Universit├Ąt 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.

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