Exploring the Construction of Transparency- An Analysis of Health Managers Narratives

Taryn Vian

Many characteristics of the health sector such as information asymmetry, complex payment systems, and professional discretion, make it vulnerable to the abuse of power. Transparency is intended to mitigate these risks by providing clarity on the rules and results of health care delivery processes and by revealing interests and motivations of health care providers and policy makers. But before a culture of transparency can take root in organizations, it is important to understand how people perceive transparency and enact it in their organizational roles. How do managers interpret and label actions and events as transparent or non-transparent? This formative research study proposes a framework and research methods for exploring transparency in organizations. The study elicited 21 stories about transparent behavior and categorized them by type, such as “dissatisfied observer,” “reluctant discloser” and “moral dilemma discloser,” illustrating aspects of transparency and perceived benefits and drawbacks. Through narrative analysis, researchers can better understand attitudes and beliefs about transparency held by key stakeholders. This information can then be used in the design of policies and behavior change strategies to promote effective governance.