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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