Betwixt and Between: Trends in Transparency and Secrecy Research

Oana Brindusa Albu*

*Corresponding author for this work

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This essay identifies common themes in research on transparency and secrecy and interrogates the intertwined relationship between transparency and secrecy. In this essay, I review four books situated at the intersection of organizational communication (and its related sub-disciplines of information and communication technology and alternative organizing), sociology and cultural studies. These books address different ways of thinking about transparency and secrecy and examine their implications for organizations, institutions and societies. Taken together, these books describe and problematize the dichotomy between transparency and secrecy and their arguments can be used to stimulate a reassessment of secrecy and transparency as ideas, practices and resources in future research. To this end, I discuss in the following some overarching themes of transparency and secrecy, and I conclude with future research directions aimed at understanding the challenges introduced by the transparency secrecy nexus in the present datafied social landscapes.
Original languageEnglish
JournalManagement Communication Quarterly
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)377-387
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - May 2022

Bibliographical note

Published online: 1 Feb 2022.


  • Transparency
  • Secrecy
  • Visibility

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