Peering into Transparency

Challenging Ideals, Proxies, and Organizational Practices

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

    Abstract

    The current emphasis on organizational transparency signifies a growing demand for insight, clarity, accountability, and participation. Holding the promise of improved access to valid and trustworthy knowledge about organizations, the transparency pursuit has great potential for enhanced organizational effectiveness and widened democratic practice. Yet, with its most common operationalization, as information, transparency reinstalls a 'purified' notion of communication devoid of mystery, inaccuracy, and (mis)representation. We apply transparency to itself by unpacking its implicit model of communication and critiquing its obliviousness to the representative nature of transparency-related messages and the attendant complexities of motivation. This critique interrogates the ambiguities and ambivalence of the transparency pursuit and demonstrates how the goals of organizational transparency are counteracted by new types of opacity.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalCommunication Theory
    Volume25
    Issue number1
    Pages (from-to)70-90
    Number of pages21
    ISSN1050-3293
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2015

    Cite this

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    abstract = "The current emphasis on organizational transparency signifies a growing demand for insight, clarity, accountability, and participation. Holding the promise of improved access to valid and trustworthy knowledge about organizations, the transparency pursuit has great potential for enhanced organizational effectiveness and widened democratic practice. Yet, with its most common operationalization, as information, transparency reinstalls a 'purified' notion of communication devoid of mystery, inaccuracy, and (mis)representation. We apply transparency to itself by unpacking its implicit model of communication and critiquing its obliviousness to the representative nature of transparency-related messages and the attendant complexities of motivation. This critique interrogates the ambiguities and ambivalence of the transparency pursuit and demonstrates how the goals of organizational transparency are counteracted by new types of opacity.",
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    Peering into Transparency : Challenging Ideals, Proxies, and Organizational Practices. / Christensen, Lars Thøger; Cheney, George.

    In: Communication Theory, Vol. 25, No. 1, 2015, p. 70-90.

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

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