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Reframing whistleblowing intention: an analysis of individual and situational factors

Dian Anita Nuswantara (Department of Accounting, Universitas Negeri Surabaya, Surabaya, Indonesia)

Journal of Financial Crime

ISSN: 1359-0790

Article publication date: 14 January 2022

Issue publication date: 2 January 2023




This paper aims to reframe the whistleblowing process by examining the individual and situational factors that have been overlooked by prior studies. Ethical climate, public service motivation (PSM), organisation identification and psychological safety are inquired.


The present study sample was drawn from a population of Indonesian local governments located in east Java, Indonesia. Particularly, self-administered questionnaires were hand-distributed to the employees in the four local governments. Of 2,169 questionnaires distributed to the employees, 1,687 questionnaires were returned to the researcher. However, the researcher removed 33 returned questionnaires because of poor data quality, such as incomplete answers. Thus, only 1,654 questionnaires were analysed in this study.


The findings support the idea of an ethical climate that can encourage the individual to blow the whistle. However, its effect is indirect. The predictive power of ethical climate on the individual’s whistleblowing intentions depends on the meditating roles of PSM, psychological safety and organisation identification. Interestingly, the mediating effects of PSM, psychological safety and organisation identification are extremely acknowledged when individuals have an opportunity to choose internal or external disclosures.


This study produces a different approach to understanding people’s intentions to report any wrongdoings. This study is dissimilar from prior studies in terms of the theoretical paradigm and research design. Previous studies mostly used students as their experiments. In contrast, the current study recruited employees who work in local governments. This situation fundamentally affects the understanding of the impact of an ethical climate on the individual intention to blow the whistle.



Nuswantara, D.A. (2023), "Reframing whistleblowing intention: an analysis of individual and situational factors", Journal of Financial Crime, Vol. 30 No. 1, pp. 266-284.



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