The Illusion of Transparency in Corporate Governance
Does Transparency Help or Hinder True Ethical Conduct?
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“This book offers a penetrating analysis of the sharp realties of the state of corporate governance… the concept of transparency only confi rms the status quo. The meaning of transparency is overwhelmed by the prerogatives of the current norms and practices, and the deep-seated values of shareholder primacy underlying contemporary business. The authors demand a more authentic and truthful approach to determining the purpose of the corporation and the resulting estimations of its performance.”
— Professor Thomas Clarke University of Technology Sydney
Transparency is generally seen as a corporate priority and a central attribute for promoting business growth and social morality. However, from a philosophical perspective, society has experienced a gradual paradigm shift which intensified after the Second World War with the advent of the information era. Therefore, as transparency serves both as a fundamental part of an inescapable, hegemonic capitalist system, and as a moral imperative, this book examines and challenges the concept of transparency as to its true governance value in building a sustainable twenty-first century. Rather than clinging to the fantasy of complete transparency as the only form of accountability, corporate governance is strengthened in this way by practicing true social responsibility, which emerges not from outward-looking compliance but from a deeper place in the corporate psyche through inward-looking contemplation and the development of moral maturity. This book will be of use to scholars working on corporate governance, business ethics, CSR, and the philosophy of business.
Finn Janning, PhD, is a writer and philosopher. His work has been published in Philosophy of Management, Journal of Philosophy of Life, and Kritike, among other publications.
Wafa Khlif is Full Professor of Management Accounting at TBS Business School in Barcelona, Spain. Her research interests are in board of directors’ effi ciency, corporate board roles, duties and composition, and issues in accounting and audit professions. She is a former president of the Accounting Tunisian Association, and acted as Faculty Dean at ISCAE, University of Manouba, Tunisia.
Coral Ingley, PhD, is Associate Professor of Management at Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand. Her research covers various aspects of corporate governance. Coral’s articles are presented regularly at refereed conferences and published in academic journals and books.