The Importance of Transparency in Ethical Governance: Current Research and Finnish Citizens’ Perceptions

Venla Mäntysalo

Abstract


Transparency has gained an important status in public administration. This article focuses on recent research debate on transparency and on the value that is defined by the citizens. A large-scale citizen survey is used for the empirical analysis.

The first aim of the article is to uncover the debate around transparency as an ethical value in governance; by using literature review the purpose is to answer why and how transparency is so important in ethical governance.

The second aim is to study how Finnish citizens perceive the role of transparency, and to analyze the functions and influence of transparency from their perspective, and investigate how the demands of transparency are fulfilled.

According to the results recent research focuses on critical viewpoint on transparency and its’ effectiveness. In citizens’ perceptions, transparency is highly valued in ethical governance, as a means to control decision-makers and as communication about public services.  Citizens express dissatisfaction in receiving information, communication about public services and influence of the feedback, therefore the importance of the value does not guarantee effectiveness.


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