The Ethics of Organizational Secrets

  title={The Ethics of Organizational Secrets},
  author={Vikas Anand and Christopher C. Rosen},
  journal={Journal of Management Inquiry},
  pages={101 - 97}
Most organizations are holders of sanctioned and unsanctioned secrets. While some secrets such as product formulas are necessary and ethical, others such as hiding the negative health effects of smoking tobacco are unethical. We examine secrets along two dimensions: The first one examines the beneficiaries and victims/targets of a secret while the second focuses on whether the secret was sanctioned by the secret holders, the organization, or society. Thinking about secrets along these two… Expand

Figures from this paper

Bringing Secrecy into the Open: Towards a Theorization of the Social Processes of Organizational Secrecy
This paper brings into focus the concept of organizational secrecy, defined as the ongoing formal and informal social processes of intentional concealment of information from actors by actors inExpand
Organizational Secrecy and the FBI’s COINTELPRO–Black Nationalist Hate Groups Program, 1967-1971
In this article, we explain how secrecy influenced the communication and decision-making processes within COINTELPRO-Black Nationalist Hate Groups, the FBI’s covert program to disrupt left-leaningExpand
Pay Secrecy, Discrimination, and Autonomy
A question facing nearly all private firms is whether they may keep employee pay secret. Many think it is obvious that firms are obligated to disclose a good deal of pay information once we properlyExpand
Hide and uncover: the use of secrets in marketing
ABSTRACT Amidst the forceful public demand for organisational transparency, there is an ambition to explore the limits of openness. What kind of information could and should firms keep secret andExpand
The Disclosure of Organizational Secrets by Employees
Organizational secrets enable firms to protect their unique stocks of knowledge, reduce the imitability of their capabilities and achieve sustained competitive advantages (Hannah, 2005). In today’sExpand
Business ethics practices and programs in Bangladesh: an empirical analysis
The issue of business ethics in Bangladesh is becoming important and not widely studied before. The study aims to evaluate ethical practices and programs today and for the next ten years with surveyExpand
Mafia rules. The role of criminal codes in mafia organizations
Abstract How can organizations that lack mechanisms of legal dispute resolution and cannot create binding contracts work efficiently? They establish and enforce organizational rules. Rules are anExpand
Hidden in full view: the organization of public secrecy in Miéville’s The City and the City
ABSTRACT In this article, we explore China Mieville’s novel The City and the City as a literary experiment for analyzing the dynamics of public secrecy. We explore public secrets as an intrinsic partExpand
The Generative Properties of Secrecy in Idea Development. A Case Study in Pharmaceutical Innovation
This paper intends to illuminate the dynamic and generative role of (in)formal secrecies in idea generation processes. Moving beyond functionalist approaches, this paper focuses on the socialExpand
Blueprints for Disaster: Balancing Secrecy and Transparency of Government Continuity Plans
Abstract : On one hand, it is readily assumed that the government must keep some information secret for the security of the state and the safety of people; on the other, as the ultimate sovereign,Expand


Blowing the whistle : the organizational and legal implications for companies and employees
In this study the authors examine the profound consequences for individuals, organizations, and society at large of the phenomenon known as whistle-blowing. They examine several common views of theExpand
Abstract Organizational corruption imposes a steep cost on society, easily dwarfing that of street crime. We examine how corruption becomes normalized, that is, embedded in the organization such thatExpand
Developing the Process Model of Collective Corruption
There are two explanations of organizational crime. The dominant one assumes that people make discrete decisions and develop positive dispositions to engage in crime before embarking on criminalExpand
Developing a Process
Community-based processes responding to social conflicts tend to originate organically, and because they adapt to the fluctuating nature of communities, they are “messy.” The authors' fieldwork hasExpand
An Organizational Memory Approach to Information Management
Whereas current theories increasingly equate information management with the management of information technology, it is argued that information technology needs to be complemented by organization-level processes related to organizational memory. Expand
Blowing the whistle