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Communications of the Association for Information Systems

Abstract

The widespread and growing use of algorithm-enabled technologies across many aspects of public and private life is increasingly sparking concerns about the lack of transparency regarding the inner workings of algorithms. This has led to calls for (more) algorithmic transparency (AT), which refers to the disclosure of information about algorithms to enable understanding, critical review, and adjustment. To set the stage for future research on AT, our study draws on previous work to provide a more nuanced conceptualization of AT, including the explicit distinction between AT as action and AT as perception. On this conceptual basis, we set forth to conduct a comprehensive and systematic review of the literature on AT antecedents and consequences. Subsequently, we develop an integrative framework to organize the existing literature and guide future work. Our framework consists of seven central relationships: (1) AT as action versus AT as perception; factors (2) triggering and (3) shaping AT as action; (4) factors shaping AT as perception; as well as AT as perception leading to (5) rational-cognitive and (6) affective-emotional responses, and to (7) (un-)intended behavioral effects. Building on the review insights, we identify and discuss notable research gaps and inconsistencies, along with resulting opportunities for future research.

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