Silent Dissent: The Effect of Structural Secrecy on Professional Communication at NASA

Charlotte N Hyde, Purdue University


This dissertation examines the creation and legitimization of knowledge through an examination of Dr. Warner von Braun’s weekly communications with his department heads during the Apollo project. My researched is focused on an archive of memos from the Marshall Space Flight Center during the 60’s. The memos were referred to as either Monday Notes or Weekly notes. I use the terms interchangeably, but some scholars differentiate between the two and refer to the Monday Notes as the communication system that worked during the Apollo project and the weekly notes as the communication system that broke after the Apollo project. In my dissertation, I explore the interaction between the MSFC and its community of Huntsville. Using examples from the Monday Notes, I build a narrative of the role of racial integration on structural secrecy at MSFC during the Apollo project. Through this narrative, I consider the impact of structural secrecy on the organization as well as on the field of technical communication.




Salvo, Purdue University.

Subject Area

Technical Communication

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