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The notion of transparency refers primarily to stakeholder insight, but is suggestive also of accountability, knowledge sharing, and due diligence. Its value for organizations, stakeholders and the wider society is therefore often taken for granted and repeatedly celebrated as a necessary antidote to fraud, secrecy, corruption, and other organizational and institutional evils. Such optimistic expectations as to what organizational transparency accomplish, however, are frequently thwarted. Flawed understandings of representation and communication as well as lack of attention to conflicting organizational concerns and practices often blind observes to the limits of transparency. In addition, and more fundamentally, transparency practices themselves are inevitably sources of opacity and secrecy. The challenge to the field of corporate communication is to move beyond conventional celebrations of transparency and embrace its many complexities.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationElgar Encyclopedia of Corporate Communication
EditorsKlement Podnar
Number of pages6
Place of PublicationCheltenham
PublisherEdward Elgar Publishing
Publication date2024
ISBN (Print)9781802200867
ISBN (Electronic)9781802200874
Publication statusPublished - 2024
SeriesElgar Encyclopedias in Business and Management series


  • Transparency
  • Insight
  • Opacity
  • Accountability
  • Visibility
  • Secrecy

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