Personal Transparency in Perspective: The Impact of Social Networking Sites on the Recruitment Process


  • Paul Beckmann
  • Alexander Hoppe
  • Katharina Jautz
  • Lara Schartau
  • Julia Schmälter



The “transparency trend” is hot for the summer of 2011. At least that is what they said in the fashion capitals of Milan, Paris, and London. In the new summer collections, sheer seethrough dresses reveal the beauties of the human body and leave little to the imagination. Architects too are attracted by the intriguing properties of transparent materials to create a new perception of space and boundaries, which challenges some traditional understandings of private living and daily work life. Whereas in the past, it was a Puritan statement to live without curtains at the windows, to show you had nothing to hide, today, the transparent way of life is often used to enable the owner to display their wealth and luxury. Institutions have increasingly followed this transparency trend in fashion and architecture by using glass for their buildings. Transparency is not only a fashion trend, but also a political challenge. Fashion and politics meet in the huge glass buildings of the European Union in Brussels and Strasbourg, which reflect the Union’s strategy to improve its democratic legitimacy; one of the main aims of the Lisbon Treaty (2009). In terms of adaption to this see-through trend, institutions are not only voluntarily moving towards greater transparency, they are being ambushed by those who believe that information is a public good, which should not be guarded by a few. By revealing “suppressed and censored injustices” (WikiLeaks, n.d.), WikiLeaks practices what some call “guerrilla transparency” (The Economist, 2010). When people think of transparency, the recent commotion caused by WikiLeaks’ publication of thousands of documents on nationally and internationally sensitive issues is at the forefront of their minds. This event has triggered a worldwide debate on the balance between state security and citizens’ right to know.


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