chapter  4
Dirty Secrets: Strategic Uses of Ignorance and Uncertainty
WithDavid M Messick
Pages 18

This chapter discusses some of the tactics that are employed either to conceal information or to intentionally create a false impression. The strategic decision for sharing or concealing knowledge would seem to reside in the answer to the question of whether, in the long run, it is better to be out with a dirty secret and accept the immediate blame and-or punishment, or to attempt concealment and risk far more serious consequences. In business, as in sport, a certain level and type of secrecy is essential and the need for secrecy requires strategies for concealment. Smoke machines are designed to obscure, blur, confuse, distract, or otherwise direct attention away from some features of an issue and, possibly, toward other, less unfavorable aspects of it. The status of confidentiality agreements is somewhat different if these contracts are used to enforce concealment of illegal or immoral activities.