Based on the literature review, our findings are the following conclusions: Firstly, organizational transparency can be conceptualized from instrumentalism （including the information-disclosing view and the social-process view） and ethicism. Instrumentalism regards organization transparency as a tool of self regulation, whereas the latter holds that organization transparency is a kind of management practice that embodies honesty, sincerity and virtue. The two highlight the difference between looking-out and seeing-in. Organizational transparency can be classified according to the transparent subject, object and degree separately, and there exist objective and subjective methods to measure the construct. Secondly, the antecedents include information characteristics, organizational characteristics, stakeholder characteristics and external environment. These four categories respectively impact the motivation to trigger the intention of organizational transparency and the conditions of organizational transparency realization in the process of organizational-stakeholder interaction. It is the joint influence of these factors that lead to the weak links between declared transparency, actual transparency and perceived transparency. Meanwhile, both the organization and its stakeholders are active agents to achieve organizational transparency. Thirdly, organization transparency is a double-edged sword, with advantages and disadvantages for the organization and its stakeholders. For the organization itself, the mechanism of " edge of blade” is to eliminate uncertainty with information symmetry, to gain trust by credibility display and to improve efficiency by reduce complexity. However, the mechanism of " edge of injury” is mainly based on the complexity of transparent objects, the increasing of external interference and the conflict of interests between the organization and its stakeholders. For internal stakeholders, organizational transparency has an impact through the " edge of blade” of incentive function （trust and fairness） and the " edge of injury” of comparative psychology among colleagues. For external stakeholders, organizational transparency exerts an impact through the " edge of blade” of symmetrical information and the " edge of injury” of the conflict of interests among stakeholders. Finally, many agendas remain to be further studied in future as follows: to develop the scale to measure organizational transparency; to investigate how the heterogeneity among stakeholders affects organizational transparency; to interpret how organizational transparency affects stakeholders; to reveal the contingency conditions for the consequences of organizational transparency; to study the dynamic process of organizational transparency; and to probe into the characteristics, logic and management mode of organizational transparency in the internet era.
Organizational Transparency: A Literature Review and Prospects
Foreign Economics & Management Vol. 41, Issue 06, pp. 43 - 58 (2019) DOI:10.16538/j.cnki.fem.2019.06.004
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Cite this article
Chen Jian’an, Jamila Ruslan, Chen Wu. Organizational Transparency: A Literature Review and Prospects[J]. Foreign Economics & Management, 2019, 41(6): 43-58.