The Perils of Organizational Transparency: Consistency, Surveillance, and Authority Negotiations

Oana Brindusa Albu, Leopold Ringel

Publikation: Bidrag til bog/antologi/rapportBidrag til bog/antologiForskningpeer review


The chapter uses a comparative case study design to address the mutations and trajectories of transparency in two organizations. We chose organizations that are similar in that they favor extensive forms of self-disclosure, but also different in terms of which sector they inhabit, audiences, and organization type: the Pirate Party of Germany and the lobby organization Epsilon. The findings, in close dialog with different threads in the transparency literature, unveil three crucial dimensions in which transparency regimes are likely to trigger unintended consequences: first, organizations have to cope with the tension between the disclosure of internal information on the one hand, and the need to appear consistent in public on the other. Second, transparency strategies can, however, turn into surveillance and trigger new forms of data ordering, sorting, and aggregating practices. Third, disclosure practices create and undermine complex hierarchies and power relations for organizational members. The comparison of the cases demonstrates that it is crucial to observe the practical implications and multiple trajectories of transparency practices.
TitelToward Permeable Boundaries of Organizations?
RedaktørerLeopold Ringel, Petra Hiller, Charlene Zietsma
Antal sider30
ForlagEmerald Group Publishing
ISBN (Trykt)9781787438293
ISBN (Elektronisk)9781787438286, 9781787439917
StatusUdgivet - 2018
Udgivet eksterntJa
NavnResearch in the Sociology of Organizations