Strategic silence occurs when an organization takes a calculated decision to avoid internal and/or external communication in order to advance long-term goals. When a reputational threat emerges, the likelihood that the organization will be faced with negative media coverage and be drawn into a public debate increases. Strategic silence is then employed to minimize the potential association of the organization with the reputational threat. In this respect, “strategic” refers to the type or content of information that is not released to the public sphere.

Strategic silence is also employed around policy decisions. Central banks, for example, often abstain from communication just before policy meetings. They do so for fear that communication may create excessive market speculation, narrow the organization’s room for maneuverability, and undermine the ...

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