Legitimisation of banking transparency in the institutional field discourse in South Africa

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DOI:

https://doi.org/10.18820/24150525/Comm.v26.12

Keywords:

Organisational transparency, Corporate transparency, Organisational discourse, Organisational field, Institutional fields, Corporate governance, South African banking, Discourse analysis

Abstract

This article examines organisational transparency discourse in South African banking from 2008 to 2018. The financial crisis of 2008-2009 upset the global economy and resulted in general mistrust of banks and the global financial system. In addition to poor governance standards, inadequate transparency was identified as a key issue to be addressed in order to prevent future crises. The nature and consequences of banking transparency became a matter of worldwide debate and brought changes in banking regulation. While the extant literature focuses mainly on banking transparency in the context of accounting, this study examines transparency as a dynamic social and organisational phenomenon that is constituted through and reflected in organisational discourse, with both symbolic and practical implications. The study entails the analysis of 76 documents generated by the key actors in the institutional field of banking during the period from 2008 to 2018 in South Africa. The data analysis identifies two main discursive strands: one focused on market conduct transparency, and the other, which addresses the importance of banks’ transparency in maintaining stability in the financial system.

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Published

2021-12-31

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