McManus, T., Holtzman, Y., Lazarus, H. and Anderberg, J. (2007), "Special issue: transparency and other hot topics revisited", Journal of Management Development, Vol. 26 No. 5. https://doi.org/10.1108/jmd.2007.02626eaa.001Download as .RIS
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Copyright © 2007, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Special issue: transparency and other hot topics revisited
Tom McManus is a market and business strategy consultant and attorney, active in strategic information policy issues such as compliance, transparency, privacy, and security. He is a founder and President of Transparency Associates (www.transparencyassociates.com), a consulting firm focused on helping organizations achieve market excellence through openness and dialogue with stakeholders.Tom is a long time Research Affiliate of the Harvard Program on Information Resources Policy where his work has focused on marketing, and competitive uses of regulation. Tom is also a Research Partner with the Information Technology Services Marketing Association (ITSMA), an organization specializing in helping companies market and sell services. Prior to founding his own firm, Tom was a Director of market and business strategy consulting with Gartner Consulting, and was the knowledge management practice leader. Before Gartner, Tom provided venture capital advisory services at Alchemix Capital Corp. Prior to that, Tom was the Director of Consulting at Western Reserve Collaborative, where he created education and technology-based frameworks for business development and cultural change management in the telecom industry. Tom’s business career began in corporate planning and development and acquisitions at Bell Regional Ameritech, where he provided industry and competitive analysis. Tom started his career as an attorney with the US Department of Justice as an honors program appointee where his focus was political asylum. Tom is admitted to the Bar in New York and New Jersey. He has a BA in History and Philosophy from Boston College, and a JD from The Vermont Law School.
Yair Holtzman is Tax Manager, Deloitte Tax LLP, and was formerly at Ernst & Young. He has over ten years of experience as a management consultant. Prior to joining Ernst & Young, Yair worked at Pittiglio Rabin Todd & McGrath (PRTM) as a consultant in the Chemicals Practice, at A. T. Kearney in the Operations Practice, and at Plating Control Systems as a chemist and founder / president of this Research & Development consulting firm. Mr. Holtzman has successfully performed many engagements in the area of accelerating new product development. His areas of interest and expertise include operations management consulting, process reengineering, and optimizing the research and development cycle. He has guided clients in the chemicals, pharmaceutical, electronics, and automotive industries in unlocking the potential of process and product development. Yair has facilitated their understanding in achieving and creating new enhanced production and research and development capabilities over time. In addition, he is currently interested at exploring opportunity for the applicability of the Research & Development tax credit and the Domestic Manufacturing Deduction to manufacturing companies in a variety of industries. Yair Holtzman received his Master of Science in Accounting with Distinction from Hofstra University’s Zarb Graduate School of Business. He earned his MBA degree from Cornell University’s Johnson Graduate School of Management with concentrations in Operations Management and Marketing. He has passed all sections of the Uniform CPA Examination. Mr. Holtzman earned his BA in Chemistry, with High Honors, from Brandeis University and completed the doctoral coursework in Chemistry at the University of Pennsylvania. He has served as a consultant to the pharmaceutical, chemicals, industrial textiles, electronics and automotive industries since 1994.
Harold Lazarus is the Mel Weitz Distinguished Professor of Management at Hofstra University’s Frank G. Zarb School of Business. Hal was the Dean of that business school for seven years, and for the previous ten years was professor of management at New York University’s Graduate School of Business. He also taught at Columbia University’s School of Business and at the Harvard Business School. His MS and PhD degrees are from the Business School at Columbia University. Dr Lazarus is a fellow of the International Academy of Management, president of the North American Management Council, past president of the Eastern Academy of Management and a former president of the Middle Atlantic Association of Collegiate Schools of Business. Hal has lectured on management subjects to business and governmental organizations on four continents and served on many corporate boards of directors. He is a founder of Transparency Associates.
Johan Anderberg is an MBA candidate majoring in finance at the Frank G. Zarb School of Business at Hofstra University. He is active in financial planning, investing, and brand management. Johan is a graduate research assistant for Dr. Harold Lazarus, and has played a leadership role in developing and promoting the transparency project at Hofstra. He has been awarded a number of scholarships at the Zarb School including the Sinclair Charitable Trust Endowed Scholarship, the Fay Lebowitz Annual Memorial Scholarship, and the “Businessship” scholarship. Johan is President of the Hofstra MBA/MS Marketing Association and a member of the Student Advisory Board at Hofstra University. He has a BBA in Business Administration and Marketing from Radford University, where he graduated at the top of his class and was awarded the Delta Sigma Pi Academic Award from the College of Business and Economics. Johan is also a member of The Beta Gamma Sigma and Phi Kappa Phi Honor Societies. He is a founder of Transparency Associates, and has been instrumental in intellectual capital development for the firm.
Special issue: transparency and other hot topics revisited
Breaking-out-of-the-box in organizations: structuring a positive climate for the development of creativity in the workplace
Joseph Cangemi is a Professor of Psychology at Western Kentucky University and Director of his own company, Creative Leadership Strategies, Inc. He has an earned doctorate from Indiana University and is the recipient of numerous university, national, and international awards including two honorary doctorates (LLD from William Woods University and DHC from Moscow State University). Fluent in Spanish, he has consulted with companies in 26 countries and provided consultation services throughout the United States. He is author or co-editor of 16 books and monographs, over 300 papers and published articles, and past editor of Organization Development Journal and Journal of Human Behavior and Learning. He is currently editor of Psychology and Education – An Interdisciplinary Journal.
Richard Miller is a Professor of Psychology at Western Kentucky University and president of the Center for Effective Organizations, LLC. He has an earned doctorate from the University of Houston and has served as a consultant to organizations throughout the United States and Canada. A previous Fulbright-Hays scholar to China, he has participated in professional activities in numerous countries throughout the world. He has served as a past editor of the Organization Development Journal. Actively involved in international public service, he has in the past has served with medical teams in both Guatemala and China, and now works actively with a international organization involved in improving financial institutions in third-world countries.
In their article Joseph Cangemi and Richard Miller discuss creative work environments. Individuals enter this world with innate talents which are then continuously shaped by family, school, friends and workers. Expectations are created as to what is “correct” in respective environments, curtailing creative alternatives from individuals and causing them to think “in-the-box” which has been created by their environments.
The work environment is no exception in exercising a limiting effect on an employee’s creative input to his or her employer. Far too often, management displays an insensitive, top-down decision process which undervalues creative input from lower ranks of workers. This disincentive process impedes the profitability of the company and produces workers who see little value in providing new, constructive approaches to their work areas.
Additionally, both leaders and hourly employees bring unspoken job expectations to their work environment. These undeclared expectations can prove a hindrance to the organization as they are used to structure and evaluate the work place. The existence of substantial “unknown” factors in an organization produces significant reduction in its transparency. Implementing a “psychological contract” in which all parties can publicly articulate expectations and mutually determine what is required to meet these expectations proves beneficial to unleashing the full potential of an organization. Leaders who value their employees can structure these constructive environments which encourage creative inputs from their employees. The characteristics of the leaders and environments which optimize this productivity are identified by the authors.
Organizational transparency drives company performance
Erik Berggren, Director of Research, SuccessFactors has worked on strategic consulting service engagements with more than 30 different companies across Europe and the US. He was the CEO and cofounder of a research based consulting company that developed thought leadership on measurement systems. He heads up the Research and Strategic Consulting group with SuccessFactors. Rob Bernshteyn, VP of Product Marketing, SuccessFactors has a background from a similar position at Siebel. Prior to this Mr Bernshteyn ran large SAP projects and also worked as a strategy consultant. He is a well-recognized leader in the field of talent management and a sought after presenter.
This article discusses the importance to organizations of maintaining employee talent and motivation. While it is costly to retain poorly performing employees, organizations also pay a significant cost when talented employees voluntarily leave. “With greater transparency, individual performance and contributions to the organization become more evident. Transparent goals are critical for an employee to understand how his or her own goals and performance relate to those of other employees.” In order to develop a transparent organization, a clearly defined strategy needs to be communicated to all employees. The authors write: “Openly communicating goals within an organization is a step in the direction of driving efficiencies through information transparency.” Several benefits of corporate transparency are presented, such as increased collaboration between employees, reduction of redundant work, and linking of performance to compensation.
Challenges in achieving transparency, simplicity and administering of the United States Tax Code
Yair Holtzman is Tax Manager at Deloitte Tax LLP. He has over ten years of experience as a management consultant. Prior to joining Ernst & Young, Yair worked at Pittiglio Rabin Todd & McGrath (PRTM) as a consultant in the Chemicals Practice, at A. T. Kearney in the Operations Practice, and at Plating Control Systems as a chemist and founder/president of this Research & Development consulting firm.
Mr. Holtzman has successfully performed many engagements in the area of accelerating new product development. His areas of interest and expertise include operations management consulting, process reengineering, and optimizing the research and development cycle. He has guided clients in the chemicals, pharmaceutical, electronics, and automotive industries in unlocking the potential of process and product development. Yair has facilitated their understanding in achieving and creating new enhanced production and research and development capabilities over time. In addition, he is currently interested at exploring opportunity for the applicability of the Research & Development tax credit and the Domestic Manufacturing Deduction to manufacturing companies in a variety of industries.
Yair Holtzman received his Master of Science in Accounting with Distinction from Hofstra University’s Zarb Graduate School of Business. He earned his MBA degree from Cornell University’s Johnson Graduate School of Management with concentrations in Operations Management and Marketing. He has passed all sections of the Uniform CPA Examination.
Mr. Holtzman earned his BA in Chemistry, with High Honors, from Brandeis University and completed the doctoral coursework in Chemistry at the University of Pennsylvania. He has served as a consultant to the pharmaceutical, chemicals, industrial textiles, electronics and automotive industries since 1994.
In his article, Mr. Holtzman discusses and provides an overview of the United States tax system. He defines what he views as a clear and effective tax system. A transparent tax system is one that taxpayers are able to understand. Transparent tax systems impose less uncertainty on taxpayers, allowing them to better plan their decisions about employment, investment, and consumption. This leads to more confidence that they can accurately predict their future tax liabilities and contributes to the credibility of the tax system. Tax systems that are difficult to comply with and administer may lack transparency. A nontransparent tax system could be difficult to administer because tax administrators may have difficulty consistently applying the law to taxpayers in similar situations. In this sense, transparency is closely linked to the simplicity and the effective administration of the tax system. He makes a strong argument that highlights that the tax systems is fraught with trade-offs and that there is considerable opportunity to simply the United States tax system.
Entrepreneurship in Egypt and the US compared: directions for further research suggested
Mamdouh I. Farid is Chairman of the Department of Management, Entrepreneurship, and General Business at Hofstra University’s Frank G. Zarb School of Business. He has served as the Acting Associate Dean. Dr Farid holds a B.S. from the Naval Academy in Alexandria, Egypt, an M.S. with honors in economics from the State University of New York, and an MBA and a PhD from Bernard M. Baruch College of The City University of New York. Dr Farid served as a member of the Egypt presidency staff from 1973 to 1979 and 1980 to 1982. He worked in the maritime and shipping industries and is a licensed ship captain. Dr Farid has published in the Strategic Management Journal, Review of Business, Labor Law Journal, Psychological Reports, Global Corporate Intelligence, International Journal of Business Discipline, the Academy of Strategic and Organizational Leadership Journal, and the International Journal of Management.
This is a timely and relevant article. Those who focus on business in the Middle East will find it insightful and provocative. Managers who want to understand Islamic law pertaining to money at more than a superficial level will find that it informs and broadens their perspective. This paper examines entrepreneurship in Egypt, an Islamic society in transition to a free market, and makes general comparisons with entrepreneurship in the United States, a secular society with a highly developed market economy. Dr Farid contends that the social and economic changes and adversity that accompany the transition to a free market, for example competition, create pressure on an emergent market like Egypt to create an environment more hospitable to entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship. The emerging capitalist market in Egypt is accompanied by the rise of political and economic Islam and both forces of change are shaping the business and cultural environment. This paper examines both the transition to a market economy and the rise of political and economic Islam as they are related to entrepreneurs and entrepreneurship in Egypt.
An equation of health: role of transparency and opacity in developing healthcare efficacy measures and metrics
In “An equation of health: role of transparency and opacity in developing healthcare efficacy measures and metrics”, Russell Jaffe, Robert A. Nash, Richard Ash, Norm Schwartz, Robert Corish, Tammy Born and Harold Lazarus, extend their previous article (JMD, Vol 25 No 10, 2006, pp. 981-995).
Their article reports that the rising costs of care for the sick can be reversed through proactive prevention. While prevention has come to mean early disease detection and treatment, this article defines proactive prevention to include all factors and incentives that promote good health and/or addresses the causes of ill health. Health is seen as more than the absence of disease. Objective measures of health efficacy have been lacking. In part, this has been due to selective opacities in our current, conventional healthcare system. To address this need, an equation of health is proposed. This allows objective and more transparent comparison of approaches to health and their contributions to well being. Surprising opportunities are found to reduce adverse events, to improve health outcomes, and to spend less while functioning and feeling better. This evidence-based approach exemplifies the opportunities that emerge when transparency is applied to healthcare management. Current incentives in regard to healthcare have mostly to do with compliance with sick care treatments and improvements in administrative mechanisms. These articles suggests that even more effective and less costly are health promotion, especially when incentives for healthier habits and wiser choices are identified and applied. Managing the transition from sick care to healthcare now has a roadmap. Transparency is one of its beacons to light our path to affordable, sustainable good health.
Transition and transparency in the employment contract
Janet A. Lenaghan is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Management, Entrepreneurship, and General Business at Hofstra University’s Frank G. Zarb School of Business. Janet has a DPS from Pace University, an MBA from Hofstra University, a BBA from Adelphi University. She teaches courses in human resource management, compensation and performance, managing employee benefits, and recruitment selection at the Frank G. Zarb School of Business at Hofstra University. Janet is the recipient of the 2003 Zarb School of Business Distinguished Teacher of the Year Award. Her primary research interests are in the area of human resource management, specifically work-family conflict and employee benefits. Dr Holly J. Seirup is currently an Assistant Professor in the Counseling, Research, Special Education, and Rehabilitation department at Hofstra University. She teaches in the Counselor Education department and has an interest in the area of College Student Development. She has presented seminars at numerous conferences on a variety of topics ranging from the impact of transition, safety issues on college campuses, and issues regarding women in management.
If you are a human resource professional, we highly recommend that you read this article. Reducing labor costs has become a popular way to cut expenses for companies. The authors believe that if companies discover that benefits need to be cut and/or eliminated, they then have a social and ethical responsibility to educate and counsel their employees on other private benefit alternatives. To assist employees in the transition period, the authors recommend a human resource counseling model consisting of four equally important components: Climate, Attending, Empowering, and Transparency. Corporate transparency does not only include “firm-specific information to those outside publicly traded firms.” “It needs to extend to those inside the organization; the very source of competitive advantage for many organizations.”
Dave Delaney’s useful advice for your development as a manager
Tom McManus is a market and business strategy consultant and attorney, active in strategic information policy issues such as compliance, transparency, privacy, and security. He is a founder and President of Transparency Associates (www.transparencyassociates.com), a consulting firm focused on helping organizations achieve market excellence through openness and dialogue with stakeholders.
Dave Delaney is the President and a founder of the Lancer Insurance Company. Lancer has revenues of about $300 million and five hundred employees. In 1982, at the age of 28, Dave and his brother Tim raised $4 million in a private placement to start the company. Today, Lancer is the largest insurer of buses in the world.
This article is valuable for managers at every stage of their development, and especially for those just entering the work force. Dave Delaney is an outstanding executive leading a first rate company. The article is filled with useful insights from this entrepreneur sharing lessons learned founding and managing Lancer Insurance.
Working from the inside out: management and leadership through the lens of the perennial wisdom tradition
Dr Charles Smith is an Associate Professor Department of Management, Entrepreneurship, and General Business. Dr. Smith received a B.S. in accounting from LaSalle College, and an M.B.A. in organization theory and finance, and a PhD in organization theory from Syracuse University. His teaching and research interests are in systems theory applications to group and organizational development, the management of change and innovation, business policy and strategic decision making.
You may never have read an article like this one. However, if you are interested in corporate philosophy you may enjoy Dr Charles Smith’s discussion of management in Canon Corporation. The word Canon derives from Kwanon, the Buddhist goddess of mercy. This company’s vision is that Kwanon requires working together for the common good. Canon also affirms that “all people regardless of race, religion, or culture work together harmoniously.” This company is influenced by Buddhism’s emphasis on “living in harmony with nature, to produce elegance in work, and for using technology to protect the natural world and all its creatures.” We invite you to read this unique article.
Retirement – an unaffordable luxury
Tom McManus is a founder and President of Transparency Associates (www.transparencyassociates.com), a consulting firm focused on helping organizations achieve market excellence through openness and dialogue with stakeholders. Johan Anderberg is a last-year M.B.A. student at the Frank G. Zarb School of Business at Hofstra University’s Frank G. Zarb School of Business. Dr. Harold Lazarus is the Mel Weitz Distinguished Professor of Business at Hofstra University, where he teaches management and leadership to graduate business students.
Although your plans may be to live in retirement bliss, demographic predictions may not support that as a likely scenario. Do not be too depressed since retirement is often not the bliss it’s cracked up to be. Retirement Research suggests that a longer working life can have beneficial effects on the physical and psychological well being of individuals. Working reduces the likelihood that you will experience depression or need assistance as you age. Whether you are close to retirement or at the beginning of your career, it is very likely that you will be affected by the changing work conditions in the United States and elsewhere in the world. So, don’t ignore this issue. Instead, start planning for the opportunity of no retirement.
Through the looking glass: illusions of transparency and the cult of information
Susan J. Drucker is a Professor in Hofstra University’s Department of Journalism, Media Studies, and Public Relations. She has a J.D. from St. John’s University School of Law, and an M.A. in Media Studies from Queens College, City University New York, Media Studies. A practicing attorney, she teaches courses in communication law, communication theory and interpersonal communication. Professor Drucker has published widely on the emerging laws of cyberspace, communication and conflict resolution in international disputes, wired cities, cameras in the courtroom, technology and legal communication, and the rhetorical functions of Holocaust memorials.
Gary Gumpert is Emeritus Professor of Communication at Queens College of the City University of New York and co-founder of Communication Landscapers, a consulting firm. He is a recipient of the Franklyn S. Haiman Award for distinguished scholarship in Freedom of Expression. He is the President of the Urban Communication Foundation, Inc., a not-for-profit organization supporting research on communication and the urban condition. His primary research focuses on the nexus of communication technology and social relationships, particularly looking at urban and suburban development, the alteration of public space, and the changing nature of community.
In this very interesting, well-written piece it is argued that pure transparency is unobtainable, and some degree of control and filtering of information is essential in order to efficiently manage organizations and governments. From transparency, to translucence to opacity there are degrees of openness in organizations with technical and policy filters imposed intentionally and unintentionally in between those who observe and those who are observed. The illusion of transparency is considered along with the gate keeping or filtering associated with making relevant information available. There is a need to examine both transparency and surveillance as management tools in an information society. Transparency and limits on transparency should be proactively addressed in organizational structure and policy and must be communicated effectively for both pragmatic and symbolic purposes. This further suggests the need for media literacy training within organizations. This paper proposes the publication of an organizational “Bill of Rights” to demonstrate a commitment to transparency to all stakeholders. As stated so well by the authors: “The value of the information and the perceived right of access cannot be over estimated as a fundamental management tool.”
The best of the best: lessons from the top-performing American corporations, 1954-2005
James P. Neelankavil is a Professor in the Department of Marketing and International Business at the Frank G. Zarb School of Business, Hofstra University, where he has also served as Acting Dean and Associate Dean. He earned his doctorate in international business from the Stern School of Business, New York University, his M.B.A. with distinction from the Asian Institute of Management in the Philippines, and his BSc from Kerala University in India. Professor Neelankavil has authored and presented numerous papers both in the United States and abroad on international business issues.
Debra R. Comer is a Professor in the Department of Management, Entrepreneurship, and General Business at the Frank G. Zarb School of Business, Hofstra University where she has also served as Associate Dean for Faculty Development and Department Chair. Dr. Comer earned an M.A., M.Phil, and PhD in organizational behavior from Yale University. She received a B.A. with honors in psychology from Swarthmore College. Dr Comer’s current research interests include business ethics, experiential learning, and crisis management.
The guest editors are extremely pleased to present this very interesting and thought-provoking article. This paper reviews 51 years of annual Fortune 500 listings and assigns weights to four critical performance variables – ROI/ROE, net profits, total assets, and revenues – to derive a new, composite performance metric that determines the leading American companies during this entire period. Secondary sources are then examined to identify factors that have enabled these companies to attain and sustain their high rankings. The results of their longitudinal analysis illustrate the significance of using a variety of metrics, or a composite metric, to gauge corporate performance. Furthermore, top performers typically have several of eight key characteristics: strong leadership, membership in certain industries, industry position, a focus on core competencies, innovation, investment in improvements, competitive advantage, and diversification through mergers and/or acquisitions.
Tom McManus, Yair Holtzman, Harold Lazarus, Johan AnderbergGuest Editors