Source: Adapted from: Brooks, M.R., Knatz G., Pallis A.A. and Wilmsmeier G. (2020). Transparency in Port Governance: Seaport Practices. PortReport No 5. PortEconomics.eu.
Four different dimensions need to be considered in order to realize whether the existing levels of port governance transparency facilitate improvements in the governance, and ultimately the performance, of a given port.
The visibility of information, i.e. the degree to which information is released and found with relative ease is the first of them. A characteristic of transparency is the degree of completeness of information. By way of example, a summarized unaudited financial report, makes the financial results of a port visible but does not reveal a complete picture, and without the auditor’s opinion it may not be considered verifiable.
An additional dimension of transparency is inferability, which refers to the quality of the disclosed information and/or data, and the extent to which the information, in its form and content, can be used to draw accurate conclusions.
The third dimension is verifiability. With transparency being a matter of information disclosure, the quality and quantity of information permits one to fully observe organizational action, and provides a means of solving organizational and societal problems by improving the effectiveness and quality of transparency efforts. Not all information that is visible is verifiable or even intelligible.
The fourth dimension is performativity. This is the extent that transparency enactment (i.e. acts of making things visible) stands as a process with (un)intended dynamics that induce action, such as agreements, conflicts, tensions, and negotiations, and leads to the improvement of management in organizational settings.