Peering into Transparency: Ideals, Proxies and Organizational Practices

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    The current emphasis on organizational and institutional transparency – driven by NGOs, inquisitive media, critical investors and other engaged stakeholders – signifies a growing demand for insight, clarity, participation and democracy. Holding the promise of improved access to valid and trustworthy knowledge about contemporary organizations, the transparency discourse has significant democratic potential. Yet, its most common operationalization – as information availability – reinstalls a “purified” notion of communication devoid of mystery, inaccuracy and misrepresentation. In this paper, we apply transparency to itself by unpacking its implicit model of communication and critiquing its ignorance towards the representative nature of current transparency practices. The critique unfolds the ambiguous nature of the transparency pursuit and demonstrates how its desire for insight, clarity, participation and democracy are counteracted by new types of opacity.
    Original languageEnglish
    Publication date2013
    Number of pages37
    Publication statusPublished - 2013
    EventThe 3rd Global Conference on Transparency Research - HEC Paris, Paris, France
    Duration: 24 Oct 201326 Oct 2013
    Conference number: 3


    ConferenceThe 3rd Global Conference on Transparency Research
    LocationHEC Paris
    Internet address

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