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PROJECT I.3 Secrecy as Organizing Uncertainty in Creative Processes

Key Facts

Principal investigator: Prof. Jana Costas, Ph.D., Europa-Universität Viadrina, Frankfurt/Oder

Postdoc: Dr. Birke Otto, Europa-Universität Viadrina, Frankfurt/Oder

Duration: 3 years (Period I)


Project Description

Organizational secrecy has emerged as a central organizing mechanism for creative processes in a diverse set of industries. Companies regarded as epitomes of creativity, such as Google, tend to organize the work on their most creative and uncertain projects in top-secret. Biotech and pharmaceutical companies protect discovery research activities by a system of locked laboratories. In the music industry, new album releases are usually produced under strict secrecy in order to prevent potential hit songs from “leaking” on the Internet during production, but also as a marketing instrument to create hype around new releases. Whereas such anecdotal evidence suggests that secrecy seems to be of immense practical importance for individual and collective actors in arts- and science-based industries, extant research has not explicitly engaged in investigating processes of organizational secrecy in the context of creative projects.

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