Secrecy is endemic within organizations, woven into the fabric of our lives at work. Yet, until w, 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-kwn 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 kwn goes undiscussed. Animated with evocative examples from scholarship, current events, and works of fiction, this framework presents a bold reimagining of organizational life.
Jana Costas is Professor of People, Work and Management at the European University Viadrina, Germany. Christopher Grey is Professor of Organization Studies at Royal Holloway, University of London and Visiting Professor at Universite Paris-Dauphine. He is the author of A Very Short, Fairly Interesting and Reasonably Cheap Book about Studying Organizations (2012) and Decoding Organization (2013).