Transparency: A Competitive Advantage?
Phase one - Transparency as an answer to revealed misconduct
During the last decades of the past century, transparency in business mainly has to do with sudden, mostly negative, emerging issues. A journalist or pressure group reveals misconduct concerning child labour or environmental pollution and makes it public. The company reacts as it faces loss of reputation and potential severe economic damage. At best it organizes a well-orchestrated public relations campaign. The company announces thorough research and takes measures to prevent the issue to happen again.
“Transparency is the new marketing” - Neil Patel
Phase Two - Transparency to show organisational strength
With the turn of the century, change comes to the way companies approach such transparency-themes. Instead of informing the public reactively out of self-defence, companies use transparency proactively as an expression of strength. From then on transparency more and more is used to justify company’s actions. Nowadays no one is surprised if a company provides the public with former classified information on top-management remuneration, bonus-schemes, tax-payments and place of origin of used materials. The more open about these themes, the better the company’s image.