Organizational transparency is associated with mutual understanding and consensus between the organization and its constituents, but is typically defined as information disclosure. Such definitions pose the risk of simplification and provide incomplete understandings of the transparency phenomenon. Additionally, research rarely focuses on how transparency is translated within crisis situations. This article presents a sense-making and discourse analysis perspective of transparency. We use the case of the British bank Northern Rock to show how this bank and its stakeholders enacted transparency in a critical moment, and to demonstrate how different zones of meaning emerged among the players involved.
Journal of Public Relations Research, 2014, Vol 26, Issue 2, p. 117-133