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Whistleblowing studies in accounting research: A review of experimental studies on the determinants of whistleblowing

aGeorge W. Daverio School of Accountancy, The University of Akron, 289 S. Broadway St., Akron, OH 44325-4802, USA
bDepartment of Accounting, Virginia Commonwealth University, USA

Journal of Accounting Literature

ISSN: 0737-4607

Article publication date: 22 May 2017

Issue publication date: 30 June 2017



We review and summarize accounting literature that examines whistleblowing in the accounting context. We organize our review around the five determinants of whistleblowing identified by Near and Miceli (1995). The first determinant is characteristics of the whistleblower. Studies related to this determinant examine whistleblowers’ personality characteristics, moral judgment, and demographic characteristics. Studies related to the second determinant, characteristics of the report recipient, examine characteristics of the individual or individuals who receive the report and characteristics of the reporting channel. The third determinant is characteristics of the wrongdoer. Studies in this area focus on the wrongdoer’s power and credibility. Fourth, accounting studies related to characteristics of the wrongdoing examine factors that affect the dependence of the organization on the wrongdoing and evidence credibility. Studies related to the final determinant, characteristics of the organization, examine organizational perceptions of the appropriateness of whistleblowing, organizational climate, and organizational structure. For each determinant, we first summarize and analyze the findings of prior research, and then we present suggestions for future accounting research in whistleblowing.



Gao, L. and Brink, A.G. (2017), "Whistleblowing studies in accounting research: A review of experimental studies on the determinants of whistleblowing", Journal of Accounting Literature, Vol. 38 No. 1, pp. 1-13.



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