OD, HR, cross cultural specialists, change managers and coaches often promulgate the importance of transparency in organizations.
Transparency is seen as a higher form of being, someone we should all strive for. Transparency is almost a religion for many professionals who support present day organizing. Transparency is almost seen like the English language-the only way to do business.
The only problem is that transparency is not universally valued, by any means.
Here are a few different points of view which “compete” with the Religion of Transparency.
1) “Muddy the water and catch the fish”. In other words, ambiguity, not transparency, enables things to get done.
2) Discretion, not transparency, is what is needed to deal with delicate situations.
3) When the reality does not look good, make sure that reality at least looks good; this is done by face saving.
4) Transparency is Religion of the oppressor, who supports our being open….and then controls us.
5) Transparency is a frailty of the present ruling elite. They did not get to be elite by being transparent however.