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Appropriate Use of Transparency in Organizations

Personal experience

I have been working as an employee for a five-star hotel for the last six years in California. From experience, the service industry requires efficient and orchestrated coordination of functions between managers and the rest of the employees. In the last six years, I have noted how the organization treasures information transparency. In this regard, the managers ensure that information on current decisions is shared with the employees to avoid confusion.

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In most cases, decisions on operations and current business practices are made by managers. However, frequent input from the rest of the employees is encouraged. However, information on critical issues like finance is not shared among employees. I have also noted the zeal with which managers acknowledge employees’ efforts by issuing them with rewards. In addition, managers do not publicly issue warnings to employees. A consistency in observing the organization’s policy on confidentiality of the employee’s personal life is always observed.

Transparency evaluation

I prefer evaluating organization transparency using accountability, confidentiality, employee participation, motivation, and productivity. In this regard, the above level of transparency has improved my accountability as an employee. The moderation of transparency has safeguarded and improved my personal life and self-confidence at the workplace. The fact that the management has approached me to contribute to a decision-making process has improved personal productivity. My current motivation in the workplace has been impacted by the transparency initiatives in the organization.

Transparency level

A moderate level of transparency is critical to the success of any business organization (Williams, 2005). Such a level of organizational transparency encourages open board meetings. In this regard, employees are allowed to attend board meetings provoking innovation in the organization. Annual reports are an indication of a transparency initiative in ensuring open access to information.

Disclosure of financial statements is an additional initiative in harnessing a moderate level of transparency. Leadership that is interactive and empowers employees in the form of an employer-employee partnership is critical in promoting moderate level transparency. A moderate level of transparency encourages leadership that uses open communication by rewarding employees’ successes, as well as rebuke failures. Moderate level of transparency relies heavily on organizational culture and core values. From this perspective, organizational leadership is entrusted with influencing employees’ behaviors.

Transparency limitations

Organizational transparency poses some dangers to a business (Henriques, 2007). For example, it is inappropriate to exhibit transparency in financial matters and decisions to everyone. This may cause a competitive disadvantage to the competitors. Another instance where transparency should be discouraged is the exposure of strategic plans to employees. Strategic plans are better safeguarded by managers and supervisors than by the common employees.

There are instances where accountability to duties may damage an employee’s reputation. For example, a person entrusted with accountability to information may fail to limit the sharing of the same among the employees. Transparency in information sharing can be used as a platform to malign individuals considered unfriendly. Normally, this happens between individuals who hold grudges against each other or the company.

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Influencing transparency

A leader has the power to influence organizational transparency using behavioral tactics. From this perspective, a leader’s traits of kindness, transparency, optimism, and honesty are considered critical in promoting organizational transparency. An influential leader is perceived to be considerate, cooperative, selfless, and ideal in establishing transparency.


Henriques, A. (2007). Corporate truth: The limits to transparency. London, LND: Earthscan.

Williams, C. C. (2005). Trust diffusion: The effect of interpersonal trust on structure, function, and organizational transparency. Business & Society, 44(3), 357-368.

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