The transparency of information systems organizations.
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The awareness of technology by end-users is expanding. Starting with the millennials, today’s digital natives have grown up with technology awareness while earlier generations have immigrated to an understanding of technology. The constant availability of devices and digital data has made this awareness a natural or forced extension in one’s personal life. Technology awareness is necessary for keeping up with friends and family or fulfilling a job requirement. Moreover, technology use blends across personal and business activities. Technology awareness has created a heightened need for information systems (IS) organization transparency about technology. Yet, a theory of IS organization’s transparency does not exist. The need for transparency in business is not new. Transparency has been a core topic since The Great Depression. Without an academic theory, transparency in business practice has primarily been legislated through laws and declarations in countries around the world. The purpose of this study is to develop a theoretical lens for understanding the perceptions of an IS organization’s transparency, an academic basis that is resolute enough to frame the communication of an IS organization in an age of ubiquitous technology consumerization and digital information for a reasonably informed and interested person. Extant research shows IS strategies and policies must be transparent to users throughout an organization, not just upper management. However, not all business departments want or need the same degree of transparency. This research is a positivist case study of data collected from thirty participants in five departments of a regional not-for-profit health care system. A cyclical analysis produces concepts that become central characteristics in an IS organization’s transparency. These concepts were tested to understand the degree of transparency valued by each department.