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Transparency (behavior)

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Title: Transparency (behavior)  
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Subject: In the news/Candidates/December 2010, Openness, Quality management system, AccountAbility, Transparency International
Collection: Free Software, Humanities, Politics by Issue, Transparency (Behavior)
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Transparency (behavior)

Transparency, as used in

  • Sunlight Foundation
  • The National Institute on Money in State Politics


  • Transparency International
  • Transparency and Development

External links

  1. ^ a b c d Schnackenberg, Andrew K.; Tomlinson, Edward C. (March 2014). "Organizational transparency: a new perspective on managing trust in organization-stakeholder relationships".   Published online before print.
  2. ^ "Opening government: A guide to best practice in transparency, accountability and civic engagement across the public sector" (PDF). Transparency Initiative. Transparency & Accountability Initiative. Retrieved September 11, 2015. 
  3. ^ a b c d e Treanor, Jill (22 November 2009). "Government retreats over naming bank top earners - Top 20 highest paid employees now unlikely to be identified unless they have boardroom roles".  
  4. ^ "Norway Divided by Citizen Wealth Tables". The New York Times. October 23, 2009. Retrieved 22 November 2009. 
  5. ^ DiStaso, Marcia W.; Bortree, Denise Sevick (2014). Ethical practice of social media in public relations. Routledge. p. 23.   Preview.
  6. ^ Bernardi, Richard A.; LaCross, Catherine C. (April 2005). "Corporate transparency: code of ethics disclosures". The CPA Journal (New York State Society of the Certified Public Accountants (CPA)). 
  7. ^ a b Francesch-Huidobro, Maria (2008). Governance, politics and the environment: a Singapore study. Institute of Southeast Asian Studies (ISEAS). p. 60.   Preview.
  8. ^ "Is GRI too much transparency for NGOs?". PRIZMA. March 27, 2011. 
  9. ^ "Our accountability commitments: transparency". INGO accountability charter. 
  10. ^ Thompson, Andrew S. (2008), "Laying the groundwork: Considerations for a charter for a proposed global civi society forum", in Walker, James W. St.G.; Thompson, Andrew S., Critical mass: the emergence of global civil society, Ontario, Canada: The Centre for International Governance Innovation and Wilfried Laurier University Press, p. 214,   Preview.
  11. ^ "Charte des ONG (NGO Charter)". One World Trust. 1997. 
  12. ^ Moeller, Susan D.; et al. "Openness & accountability: a study of transparency in global media outlets". Studies (International Center for Media and the Public Agenda (ICMPA)). 
  13. ^ Mattozzi, Andrea; Merlo, Antonio (May 2007). "The transparency of politics and the quality of politicians".   Pdf.
  14. ^ Solove, Daniel J. (2004). The Digital person: technology and privacy in the information age. p. 140.  
  15. ^ Rocchini, Duccio; Neteler, Markus (June 2012). "Let the four freedoms paradigm apply to ecology".  
  16. ^ "Wissenschaftsrat: Home". 
  17. ^ "Transparent science". 
  18. ^ "Mathematica and free software". 
  19. ^ Free software brings affordability, transparency to mathematics
  20. ^ "Transparency in Sport". 
  21. ^ "Klarheit schaffen". der Freitag (in German). 7 June 2012. Retrieved 3 July 2012. 
  22. ^ Strathern, M. 2000. Audit Cultures: Anthropological Studies in Accountability, Ethics and the Academy. London: Routledge.
  23. ^ Hetherington, K. 2011. Guerrilla Auditors: The Politics of Transparency in Neoliberal Paraguay. Durham, NC: Duke University Press.
  24. ^ "ReadCube for Researchers". 
  25. ^ Sanders, Todd & Harry G. West 2003. Powers revealed and concealed in the New World Order. In H. G. West & T. Sanders (eds) Transparency and Conspiracy: Ethnographies of Suspicion in the New World Order. Durham, NC: Duke University Press, p. 16.
  26. ^ Birchall, Clare (December 2011). "Transparency interrupted: secrets of the left".  
  27. ^ McGivern, Gerry; Fischer, Michael D. (2010). "Medical regulation, spectacular transparency and the blame business". Journal of Health, Organization and Management 24 (6): 597–610.  
  28. ^ McGivern, Gerry; Fischer, Michael D. (1 February 2012). "Reactivity and reactions to regulatory transparency in medicine, psychotherapy and counselling".  
  29. ^ Fischer, Michael D.; Ferlie, Ewan (1 January 2013). "Resisting hybridization between modes of clinical risk management: Contradiction, contest, and the production of intractable conflict".  


See also

[29] Researchers at

Clare Birchall, Christina Gaarsten, Mikkel Flyverbom, and Mark Fenster among others, write in the vein of 'Critical Transparency Studies' which attempts to challenge particular orthodoxies concerning transparency. Birchall, assessed in an article "[...] whether the ascendance of transparency as an ideal limits political thinking, particularly for western socialists and radicals struggling to seize opportunities for change [...]". She argues that the promotion of 'datapreneurial' activity through open data initiatives outsources and interrupts the political contract between governed and government. She is concerned that the dominant model of governmental data-driven transparency produces neoliberal subjectivities that reduce the possibility of politics as an arena of dissent between real alternatives. She suggests that the radical Left might want to work with and reinvent secrecy as an alternative to neoliberal transparency.[26]

Anthropologists have long explored ethnographically the relation between revealed and concealed knowledges, and have increasingly taken up the topic in relation to accountability, transparency and conspiracy theories and practices today.[22][23][24] Todd Sanders and Harry West for example suggest not only that realms of the revealed and concealed require each other, but also that transparency in practice produces the very opacities it claims to obviate.[25]

Among philosophical and literary works that have examined the idea of transparency are Michel Foucault's Discipline and Punish or David Brin's The Transparent Society. The German philosopher and media theorist Byung-Chul Han in his 2012 work Transparenzgesellschaft sees transparency as a cultural norm created by neoliberal market forces, which he understands as the insatiable drive toward voluntary disclosure bordering on the pornographic. According to Han, the dictates of transparency enforce a totalitarian system of openness at the expense of other social values such as shame, secrecy, and trust. He was criticized for his concepts, as they would suggest corrupt politics and for referring to the anti-democratic Carl Schmitt.[21]

Sigmund Freud following Friedrich Nietzsche ("On Truth and Lie in a Nonmoral Sense") regularly argues that transparency is impossible because of the occluding function of the unconscious.


Sports has become a global business over the last century, and here, too, initiatives ranging from mandatory drug testing to the fighting of sports-related corruption are gaining ground based on the transparent activities in other domains.[20]


There is a different (perhaps almost opposite) sense of transparency in human-computer interaction, whereby a system after change adheres to its previous external interface as much as possible while changing its internal behaviour. That is, a change in a system is transparent to its users if the change is unnoticeable to them.

In computer security, the debate is ongoing as to the relative merits of the full disclosure of security vulnerabilities, versus a security-by-obscurity approach.

In the computer software world, open source software concerns the creation of software, to which access to the underlying source code is freely available. This permits use, study, and modification without restriction.


Some mathematicians and scientists are critical of using closed source mathematical software such as Mathematica for mathematical proofs, because these do not provide transparency, and thus are not verifiable.[18] Open-source software such as Sage aims to solve this problem.[19]

Scholarly research in any academic discipline may also be labeled as (partly) transparent (or open research) if some or all relevant aspects of the research are open in the sense of open source,[15] open access and open data,[16] thereby facilitating social recognition and accountability of the scholars who did the research and replication by others interested in the matters addressed by it.[17]


21st century culture affords a higher level of public transparency than ever before, and actually requires it in many cases. Modern technology and associated culture shifts have changed how government works (see WikiLeaks), what information people can find out about each other, and the ability of politicians to stay in office if they are involved in sex scandals. Due to the digital revolution, people no longer have a high level of control over what is public information, leading to a tension between the values of transparency and privacy.[14]

Online culture

A recent political movement to emerge in conjunction with the demands for transparency is the Pirate Party, a label for a number of political parties across different countries who advocate freedom of information, direct democracy, network neutrality, and the free sharing of knowledge.

To promote transparency in Transparency International and the Sunlight Foundation.

While a liberal democracy can be a plutocracy, where decisions are made behind locked doors and the people have fewer possibilities to influence politics between the elections, a participative democracy is more closely connected to the will of the people. Participative democracy, built on transparency and everyday participation, has been used officially in northern Europe for decades. In the northern European country Sweden, public access to government documents became a law as early as 1766. It has officially been adopted as an ideal to strive for by the rest of EU, leading to measures like freedom of information laws and laws for lobby transparency.

When military authorities classify their plans as secret, transparency is absent. This can be seen as either positive or negative; positive because it can increase national security, negative because it can lead to corruption and, in extreme cases, a military dictatorship.

The right and the means to examine the process of decision making is known as transparency. In politics, transparency is used as a means of holding public officials accountable and fighting corruption. When a government's meetings are open to the press and the public, its budgets may be reviewed by anyone, and its laws and decisions are open to discussion, it is seen as transparent, and there is less opportunity for the authorities to abuse the system for their own interests.[13]

A 2011 plaque recognizing the municipality of Santa Barbara, Pangasinan for its "efforts in advancing the principles of accountability and transparency in local governance."


There are, for anybody who is interested, many ways to influence the decisions at all levels in society.[12]

If the media and the public knows everything that happens in all authorities and county administrations there will be a lot of questions, protests and suggestions coming from media and the public. People who are interested in a certain issue will try to influence the decisions. Transparency creates an everyday participation in the political processes by media and the public. One tool used to increase everyday participation in political processes is Freedom of Information legislation and requests. Modern democracy builds on such participation of the people and media.

Media Transparency is the concept of determining how and why information is conveyed through various means.


The International NGO Accountability Charter, linked to the Global Reporting Initiative, documents the commitment of its members international NGOs to accountability and transparency, requiring them to submit an annual report, among others.[8][9] Signed in 2006 by 11 NGOs active in the area of humanitarian rights, the INGO Accountability Charter has been referred to as the “first global accountability charter for the non-profit sector”.[10] In 1997, the One World Trust created an NGO Charter, a code of conduct comprising commitment to accountability and transparency.[11]

[7] Yet these same values are often found to be lacking in NGOs.[7] Accountability and transparency are of high relevance for

Non-governmental organizations

Corporate transparency, a form of radical transparency, is the concept of removing all barriers to —and the facilitating of— free and easy public access to corporate information and the laws, rules, social connivance and processes that facilitate and protect those individuals and corporations that freely join, develop, and improve the process.[6]

Alternatively, GNU/Linux community and Indymedia.

[1] To increase transparency, managers actively infuse greater disclosure, clarity, and accuracy into their communications with [1] Recent research suggests there are three primary aspects of transparency relevant to management practice: information disclosure, clarity, and accuracy.

Shimer College students demonstrate in favor of transparency in school administration, 2010


In 2009, the Spanish government for the first time released information on how much each cabinet member is worth, but data on ordinary citizens is still private.

In Norway and in Sweden, tax authorities annually release the "skatteliste" or "tax list"; official records showing the annual income and overall wealth of nearly every taxpayer.[4]

Regulations in Hong Kong require banks to list their top earners – without naming them – by pay band.[3]

In 2009, UK City minister Lord Myners proposed that the pay and identity of up to 20 of the highest-paid employees at British companies should be disclosed.[3] In the UK, employees outside the boardroom are currently granted anonymity about their pay deals.[3] He also called for the pay of all employees to be banded in grades. In his interim report in July, David Walker suggested that bankers' pay levels should be disclosed in bands and that the number of staff falling in each band be included.[3] However, it is unlikely in the UK that disclosure requirements will be made a legal requirement, with hopes being placed on recommendations being undertaken voluntarily.[3]



  • Wages 1
  • Management 2
    • Non-governmental organizations 2.1
  • Media 3
  • Politics 4
  • Online culture 5
  • Research 6
  • Technology 7
  • Sports 8
  • Criticism 9
  • See also 10
  • References 11
  • External links 12
    • Regional 12.1

For example, a cashier making change after a point of sale transaction by offering a record of the items purchased (e.g., a receipt) as well as counting out the customer's change on the counter demonstrates one type of transparency.


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