Secrecy at Work
Secrecy is endemic within organizations, woven into the fabric of our lives at work. Yet, until now, we've had an all-too-limited understanding of this powerful organizational force. Secrecy is a part of work, and keeping secrets is a form of work. But also, secrecy creates a social order-a hidden architecture within our organizations. Drawing on previously overlooked texts, as well as well-known classics, Jana Costas and Christopher Grey identify three forms of secrecy: formal secrecy, as we see in the case of trade and state secrets based on law and regulation, informal secrecy based on networks and trust, and public or open secrecy, where what is known goes undiscussed. Animated with evocative examples from scholarship, current events, and works of fiction, this framework presents a bold reimagining of organizational life.
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