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Appropriate Use of Transparency in an Organization and Selling the Vision

Appropriate Use of Transparency in Organizations

Consider the following two scenarios:

Scenario 1:

Employees work in an atmosphere of distrust and fear. Leaders make decisions behind closed doors.
Changes to processes and staffing often occur unexpectedly without warning or explanation. A few select
people are given information and guard it jealously. Most employees do not get an opportunity to give

input or feedback.


Scenario 2:

Employees work in a small company where everyone knows everything about everyone and the rumor
mill runs rampant. Leadership gives both praise and reprimands in public. They frequently discuss

employees� personal affairs.

These scenarios illustrate two extremes of transparency in business. Maintaining the right degree of
transparency is a challenge for many organizations. Some leaders operate their organizations with an
open-book management style. Others believe in carefully maintaining the security of information. Leaders
must determine the appropriate level of transparency necessary for their organizations to stay healthy.

Assignment 1


Appropriate Use of Transparency in an Organization and Selling the Vision
Transparency entails openness, communication, and accountability. This, coupled with a
clear vision of a given organization, leads to successful achievement of set objectives. According
to Martin (2012), transparency does not necessarily imply leaders sharing everything pertaining
to an organization with every member of the organization. Forssbaeck et al. (2014) states that
despite the fact that honesty on the part of leadership is very vital, it compromises decisive
choices that are to be made for the good of the company, since the ruling has to be agreed by
everyone before being implemented. Martin (2012) further states that, with transparency, the
management finds it very tedious to make decisions effectively. In addition, it paints a very bad
image on the reputation of the organization since any tangible decision that has to be made takes
unreasonable amount of time (Forssbaeck et al., 2014).

Subsequently, another approach of transparent leadership is by gathering intelligent
information. However, according to Martin (2012), this approach is detrimental on the part of
both the employees and the management since they start developing negative attitude and
become very suspicious of their privacy in an institution. This in turn eliminates the culture of
trust and, hence, members feel demotivated (Forssbaeck et al., 2014).
According to Martin (2012), organizational transparency should become part of its
culture. However, Forssbaeck et al., (2014) notes that, this should be done with a lot of caution to
ensure that the move does not compromise the values of an organization. So long as the decision
made is in agreement with the vision of the company, the leadership should not justify even if
that decision is in conflict with transparency. Moreover, despite the fact that financial
transparency is very important since it facilitates choices and improves predictability of an
organization, it may lead to collusion. Apparently, financial secrecy enhances healthy
competition from the competitors and perhaps works to the advantage of that organization
(Martin, 2012).
According to Leeuwen et al., (2007), transparency alone does not ensure success of an
organization. Therefore, every organization has to adopt strategies on how to sell its vision to
both the employees and stakeholders. Depending on the strategy adopted by an organization,
there are advantages and disadvantages. Hands (2009), states that, before adopting any strategy,
it should be closely related to the vision of an organization. The vision and the strategy have to
be communicated fully to all the members. This ought to be coupled with a lot of transparency
and motivation to the team members. In addition, organization members have to work as a team
incorporating both the seniors and juniors in an organization who should also be empowered.
Moreover, everyone has to know about the vision and hence get aligned to that vision. This is

very advantageous since the vision will be very precise, significant and will promote the
objectives of the strategy (Leeuwen et al., 2007). It also ensures that the right effort is applied
towards promoting the vision and eliminates uncertainty from all the team members.
According to Hands (2009), selling a vision to the members through such strategies could
most probably get them scared at the work place. Many people perceive change as something
that interferes with their normal way of life rather than help them grow. Therefore, in order to
mitigate these challenges, every member of the organization needs to be encouraged to have
mental toughness to manage consequences of the change that is envisaged in the vision
(Leeuwan et al., 2007). Moreover, every member ought to have the desire to approach the
forthcoming change, have the required competency, and know how to implement that vision.
Lastly, the vision has to be done at the right time in order to avoid disrupting normal
programmes in an organization.



Martin, K. (2012). The outstanding organization: Generate business results by eliminating chaos
and building the foundation for everyday excellence. New York: McGraw-Hill.
Forssbaeck, J., & Oxelheim, L. (2014). The Oxford Handbook of Economic and Institutional
Transparency. Oxford Univ Pr.
Leeuwen, L., Winkel, K., & Dijkstra, H. (2007). Vision, mission, compassion: Why people
matter in organisations. Assen: Koninklijke Van Gorcum.
Hands, D. (2009). Vision and values in design management. Lausanne: AVA Academia.

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