Does privacy make us productive?
I study how the sharing of information across and within boundaries affects learning, innovation, and performance. The prevailing body of knowledge on transparency and information sharing, in theory and practice, tends to adopt a lens of more is better, and focuses its attention on how to make groups, organizations, and networks more effective at information transfer. I, instead, focus on the circumstances under which sharing information can be detrimental to learning, innovation, and performance—or, put differently, the circumstances under which privacy makes us productive.
My research finds that privacy is an important management lever but remains generally underrecognized and underutilized, despite its potential to increase learning, innovation, and performance. Drawing on field experiments, lab experiments, and qualitative field work, my research contributes to a broad community of management scholars in organizational behavior, as well as managers and business leaders across industries.
For more detail, please see my job market website at http://www.people.hbs.edu/ebernstein/.