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Book part
Publication date: 8 August 2005

Marcia P. Miceli and Janet P. Near

Research on whistle-blowing has focused on the questions of who blows the whistle, who experiences retaliation, and who is effective in stopping wrongdoing. In this…

Abstract

Research on whistle-blowing has focused on the questions of who blows the whistle, who experiences retaliation, and who is effective in stopping wrongdoing. In this article, we review research pertinent to the first of these questions. Since the last known review (Near & Miceli, 1996), there have been important theoretical and, to a lesser extent, empirical developments. In addition, the U.S. law is changing dramatically, which may serve to promote valid whistle-blowing, and international interest in whistle-blowing is widespread and increasing. Unfortunately, evidence strongly suggests that media, popular, and regulatory interest is far outpacing the growth of careful scholarly inquiry into the topic, which is a disturbing trend. Here, we argue that the primary causes of the underdevelopment of the empirical literature are methodological, and that workable solutions are needed but very difficult to implement. By calling attention to these issues, we hope to help encourage more research on whistle-blowing.

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Research in Personnel and Human Resources Management
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-76231-215-3

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Article
Publication date: 8 January 2020

Chris Schmidt

The purpose of this paper is to consolidate research in whistleblowing, wrongdoing prevention and enterprise risk management (ERM) frameworks with the goal of creating a…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to consolidate research in whistleblowing, wrongdoing prevention and enterprise risk management (ERM) frameworks with the goal of creating a more comprehensive and effective framework for the prevention of wrongdoings.

Design/methodology/approach

A gap analysis based on organizational learning theory (OLT) is performed between the research fields of whistleblowing, wrongdoing prevention and ERM to identify enhancements that are needed for effective wrongdoing prevention.

Findings

ERM is an incomplete framework for wrongdoing prevention which omits the components of prevention and learning. A culture of continuous learning is required to minimize the experience component of learning and maximizing sharing. Storytelling can be used to protect individuals and provide transparency. The stakeholder dimension must be expanded beyond the borders of the legal entity to include all stakeholders. Every stakeholder experiences the climate of wrongdoing prevention differently, and the evaluation of these different perspectives is essential in establishing a culture of prevention. Personal psychological safety is a critical element in empowering stakeholders to discuss and address wrongdoings. Standards established through professional associations enable innovations to diffuse more quickly throughout society than legislation. Standards and standard setting processes that are able to adapt to changes in societal expectations proactively help organizations to independently protect stakeholders. Global standards are needed to overcome incongruences between countries and cultures.

Research limitations/implications

The effectiveness of a prevention framework is difficult to measure. Declining incidence of wrongdoing within an institution is an incomplete picture. Rare and severe types of wrongdoing, and their prevention throughout society should require a more concerted, centralized approach which could be modeled upon the health system’s national centers for disease prevention. By combining the dimensions of the learning organization questionnaire(Marsick and Watkins, 2003) and Whistleblowing and Wrongdoing statistics, organizations should be able to develop complex KPIs and be able monitor their development over time. Researchers should be able to use the same strategy to confirm the assertions made here will improve the safety and security of all stakeholders.

Practical implications

Organizations which use ERM frameworks may be unable to effectively prevent wrongdoings and protect stakeholders from the consequences of such wrongdoings. The shortcomings identified here provide specific clear points that organizations can address to be more effective in preventing wrongdoings. Any one of these actions and the scope of their impact within the organization and their environment represent substantial challenges for all stakeholders. Like the ascent of a great mountain, the planning of the each step taken and thorough understanding of the challenges faced along the path to each waypoint are essential to reach the summit and the achieve the objective.

Social implications

This paper advocates for changes that may take decades or generations to fully accept: inter-organizational sharing; stronger use of guidelines instead of legislation; and enhanced transparency on all organizational levels. The resources required to drive change on this scale are considerable with the private sector and public sectors having unique needs and requiring potentially different approaches.

Originality/value

The novelty lies in the identification of shortcomings in ERM frameworks to effectively prevent wrongdoing, through the integration of OLT, Whistleblowing and Wrongdoing Literature and the COSO Enterprise Risk Management Framework.

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Article
Publication date: 6 June 2016

Premilla D'Cruz and Brita Bjørkelo

– Through state-of-the-art insights on whistleblowing in India, the purpose of this paper is to highlight the role of sociocultural dynamics in whistleblowing.

Abstract

Purpose

Through state-of-the-art insights on whistleblowing in India, the purpose of this paper is to highlight the role of sociocultural dynamics in whistleblowing.

Design/methodology/approach

A review of literature on wrongdoing and whistleblowing in India revealed various aspects of the national context pertinent to different stages of the phenomenon. Thematic analysis of these dimensions, allowing for a nomothetic approach, resulted in identifying six sociocultural themes common across wrongdoing and whistleblowing.

Findings

Sociocultural dynamics impacting the emergence, persistence and recognition of wrongdoing, the decision to blow the whistle, engagement in whistleblowing and the outcomes of whistleblowing encompass social relationships, power distribution, materialistic considerations, sense of propriety and fairness, public/civic orientation and ideological leanings. These factors coexist with international influences, institutional framework, workplace ethos and individual orientation. The presence of wrongdoing and the trajectory of whistleblowing in India are affected by the aforementioned factors.

Research limitations/implications

The paper is based on secondary data rather than empirical endeavours.

Social implications

By underscoring the relevance of contextual dynamics, in particular sociocultural factors, in the whistleblowing process, the paper indicates an important basis for appropriate interventions to manage wrongdoing and encourage whistleblowing while protecting whistleblowers and ensuring attention to rectifying wrongdoing and sanctioning offenders.

Originality/value

Apart from providing a contemporary and comprehensive overview of whistleblowing in India, the paper uncovers the significance of sociocultural factors which have been overlooked so far in the substantive area. Moreover, a contextualised process model of whistleblowing is proposed based on the analysis. In subsuming temporality, context and outcomes for all stakeholders, the model displays complexity and causality, emphasising holism.

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Asia-Pacific Journal of Business Administration, vol. 8 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-4323

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Article
Publication date: 11 February 2019

Narendra Singh Chaudhary, Kriti Priya Gupta and Shivinder Phoolka

This paper aims to explore the key factors which influence whistleblowing intentions of teachers working with higher education institutions (HEIs) in India. Both internal…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to explore the key factors which influence whistleblowing intentions of teachers working with higher education institutions (HEIs) in India. Both internal and external whistleblowing intentions of the HEI teachers are studied by examining their relative intentions to report a potential wrongdoing to the authorities within the management of the institution and to the external statutory bodies. The reporting intentions of the HEI teachers are measured through the use of three vignettes related to academic frauds. Whistleblowing intentions are proposed to be determined by the individual, organizational and situational factors.

Design/methodology/approach

Survey method of descriptive research design has been used to obtain the primary data regarding the individual, organizational and situational variables deemed to influence HEI teachers’ internal and external whistleblowing intentions. A self-administered structured questionnaire is used as survey instrument for primary data collection. The respondents’ internal and external whistleblowing intentions are measured through the use of three vignettes related to academic frauds. Non-parametric tests such as Mann–Whitney U test, Kruskal–Wallis test and Spearman correlations have been used to test the research hypotheses.

Findings

The study has found that the HEI teachers are more likely to blow the whistle internally if there is a proper communication channel in their organization for reporting wrongdoings. However, they do not hesitate to blow the whistle externally in the absence of internal reporting channel, especially in those cases of wrongdoings where they perceive the cost of reporting to be high. The high status of the wrongdoer and high costs of reporting discourage the teachers to blow the whistle internally. However, if the wrongdoer holds a very powerful position in the organization, then the teachers prefer to report his wrongdoing to external agencies as they are afraid of the likely negative repercussions of reporting against him internally. In case of serious wrongdoings, the teachers intend to blow the whistle within the organization rather than going to external agencies probably because they do not want to spoil the image of their organization in the external world.

Research limitations/implications

The first limitation is that because of the unavailability of pre-tested vignettes in the context of academic frauds, the study has used three vignettes which have been developed on the basis of few case studies. Second, the results showed the existence of social desirability bias across all the three vignettes. Also, the study has been conducted among teaching professionals; therefore, the findings cannot be generalized to the professionals of other sectors.

Practical implications

The findings of the study may bring awareness to the board of management of HEIs, regarding the importance of whistleblowing in their educational institutions. They should encourage the teachers working with their institutions to report the wrongdoings internally as external reporting may cause damage to their institute’s reputation. Proper reporting mechanisms should be designed and shared with the employees as a part of institutional culture.

Social implications

The Whistle Blowers Protection Act passed by the Parliament of India in 2011 should be amended to include the private sector employees, especially the teachers working in higher education sector. This will encourage the HEI teachers to report the academic frauds fearlessly which will put a serious check on the growing number of frauds and wrongdoings in the education sector.

Originality/value

Previous research studies have discussed the factors influencing whistleblowing intentions in the context of various non-academic organizations. However, existing research has not adequately provided a better understanding of the influencing factors of whistleblowing intentions in higher education sector. The present paper addresses this gap by empirically examining the key factors which influence HEI teachers’ intentions of blowing the whistle and reporting the wrongdoings occurring in their institutions, in Indian context. An attempt has been made to identify the influencing factors of both internal and external whistleblowing intentions by using three different vignettes related with academic frauds.

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International Journal of Law and Management, vol. 61 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1754-243X

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Book part
Publication date: 25 July 2008

John Blenkinsopp and Marissa S. Edwards

The growth of research into whistle-blowing has produced some compelling insights into this important organizational phenomenon, but a number of areas remain…

Abstract

The growth of research into whistle-blowing has produced some compelling insights into this important organizational phenomenon, but a number of areas remain under-explored, particularly the role of emotion and our understanding of the far more common response to wrongdoing, namely inaction. In this chapter we seek to problematize current conceptualizations of whistle-blowing and wrongdoing, as a basis for examining employee silence in the face of wrongdoing. We suggest that quiescent silence can be viewed as an emotion episode, and draw upon the feedback theory and the sensemaking paradigm to develop this proposition, illustrated through an analysis of accounts of quiescent silence in a clinical setting. We propose a new concept of “cues for inaction” which offers insights into the way quiescent silence arises and persists.

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Emotions, Ethics and Decision-Making
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84663-941-8

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Book part
Publication date: 3 September 2018

Işıl Karatuna and Oğuz Başol

The act of reporting illegal and unethical practices in the workplace has become an increasingly important issue for researchers and organizational management over the…

Abstract

The act of reporting illegal and unethical practices in the workplace has become an increasingly important issue for researchers and organizational management over the past several decades. This study tested a model of whistleblowing in which perceived organizational retaliation and upward communication satisfaction were hypothesized to act as predictors of types of whistleblowing intentions using a representative sample of employees working in Kirklareli, Turkey (n = 1,012). Structural equation modeling indicated that perceptions of upward communication satisfaction were positively associated to blowing the whistle to internal channels like immediate supervisor and upper management and negatively related to staying silent and external whistleblowing. In addition, perceived threat of retaliation from an organization was negatively related to blowing the whistle to internal channels and positively related to staying silent and external whistleblowing. The present study has contributed to our understanding of whistleblowing in a relatively new national context by clarifying its associations with perceived organizational retaliation and communication with management.

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Redefining Corporate Social Responsibility
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78756-162-5

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Article
Publication date: 5 June 2017

Philmore Alleyne, Wayne Charles-Soverall, Tracey Broome and Amanda Pierce

Whistleblowing has been receiving increased attention and support in recent times as a means of detecting and correcting wrongdoing in organizations. This study aims to…

Abstract

Purpose

Whistleblowing has been receiving increased attention and support in recent times as a means of detecting and correcting wrongdoing in organizations. This study aims to examine perceptions, attitudes and consequences (actions and reactions) of whistleblowing, as well as the predictors of internal and external whistleblowing intentions, by using Graham’s (1986) model of principled organizational dissent in a small emerging and collectivist culture like Barbados.

Design/methodology/approach

The study utilized a self-administered survey of 282 accounting employees working in organizations in Barbados.

Findings

Results reveal that there is little awareness of whistleblowing legislation. Most respondents perceive whistleblowing as ethical and favor internal over external whistleblowing. Findings show that personal responsibility and personal costs significantly influence internal whistleblowing intentions, while personal costs influence external whistleblowing. Using qualitative data, several themes emerged as influencing whistleblowing: perceived benefits of whistleblowing, actual whistleblowing experiences (handling of reports), personal costs (climate of fear and hostility), perceived lack of anonymity and cultural norms.

Research limitations/implications

Future research should control for social desirability bias and use more rigorous qualitative approaches such as face-to-face interviews and focus groups to gain in-depth opinions and feelings on the topic.

Practical implications

Whistleblowing can be achieved through such mechanisms as perceived organizational support, strong ethical codes of conduct, rewarding ethical behavior and promoting sound work ethics in organizations.

Originality/value

This paper explores whistleblowing in an emerging economy where there has been little research on the topic. Thus, this study supplements the existing research in emerging economies by examining the applicability of Graham’s (1986) model of principled organizational dissent.

Details

Meditari Accountancy Research, vol. 25 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2049-372X

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Article
Publication date: 22 February 2020

Albert Puni and Sam Kris Hilton

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the effect of power distance culture (PDC) on whistleblowing intentions (WI) by examining the moderating effect of gender on…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the effect of power distance culture (PDC) on whistleblowing intentions (WI) by examining the moderating effect of gender on the causal relationships.

Design/methodology/approach

The study used descriptive and cross-sectional survey design. Data were obtained from 300 employees of the selected organizations in Ghana and analyzed by using descriptive statistics, correlational and hierarchical regression techniques.

Findings

The results indicate that there is a significant relationship between PDC and WI, and such relationship is moderated by gender. The study also revealed that high PDC is the prevailing culture in the organizations surveyed, indicating low tendency of reporting corporate wrongdoing. However, the result of the moderation analysis indicates being a female worker in a PDC has a stronger influence on WI than being a male. Additionally, whistleblowers are likely to report their coworkers than leaders in high PDC organizations, but they are rather likely to report their leaders than coworkers in low PDC organizations.

Originality/value

This paper makes a significant contribution to the existing whistleblowing literature by establishing how gender moderates the influence of organizational culture on whistleblowing and recommends how to improve organizational ethos to facilitate whistleblowing in high-power distance societies.

Details

International Journal of Ethics and Systems, vol. 36 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2514-9369

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Book part
Publication date: 7 June 2016

Marissa S. Edwards, Sandra A. Lawrence and Neal M. Ashkanasy

For over three decades, researchers have sought to identify factors influencing employees’ responses to wrongdoing in work settings, including organizational, contextual…

Abstract

Purpose

For over three decades, researchers have sought to identify factors influencing employees’ responses to wrongdoing in work settings, including organizational, contextual, and individual factors. In focusing predominantly on understanding whistle-blowing responses, however, researchers have tended to neglect inquiry into employees’ decisions to withhold concerns. The major purpose of this study was to explore the factors that influenced how staff members responded to a series of adverse events in a healthcare setting in Australia, with a particular focus on the role of perceptions and emotions.

Methodology/approach

Based on publicly accessible transcripts taken from a government inquiry that followed the event, we employed a modified grounded theory approach to explore the nature of the adverse events and how employees responded emotionally and behaviorally; we focused in particular on how organizational and contextual factors shaped key employee perceptions and emotions encouraging silence.

Findings

Our results revealed that staff members became aware of a range of adverse events over time and responded in a variety of ways, including disclosure to trusted others, confrontation, informal reporting, formal reporting, and external whistle-blowing. Based on this analysis, we developed a model of how organizational and contextual factors shape employee perceptions and emotions leading to employee silence in the face of wrongdoing.

Research limitations/implications

Although limited to publicly available transcripts only, our findings provide support for the idea that perceptions and emotions play important roles in shaping employees’ responses to adverse events at work, and that decisions about whether to voice concerns about wrongdoing is an ongoing process, influenced by emotions, sensemaking, and critical events.

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Emotions and Organizational Governance
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-998-5

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Book part
Publication date: 1 October 2015

Alisa Brink, C. Kevin Eller and Huiqi Gan

We conduct an experiment to examine the occurrence of the bystander effect on willingness to report a fraudulent act. Specifically, we investigate the impact of evidence…

Abstract

We conduct an experiment to examine the occurrence of the bystander effect on willingness to report a fraudulent act. Specifically, we investigate the impact of evidence strength on managers’ decisions to blow the whistle in the presence and absence of other employees who have knowledge of the wrongdoing. Results indicate that when there is strong evidence indicating a fraudulent act, individuals with sole knowledge are more likely to report than when others are aware of the fraudulent act (the bystander effect). However, the bystander effect is not found when evidence of fraud is weak. Further, a mediated moderation analysis indicates that perceived personal responsibility to report mediates the relation between others’ awareness of the questionable act and reporting likelihood, suggesting that the bystander effect is driven by diffusion of responsibility. Our results have implications for all types of organizations that wish to mitigate the detrimental effect of fraud. Specifically, training or incentives may be necessary to overcome the bystander effect in an organization.

Details

Advances in Accounting Behavioral Research
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78441-635-5

Keywords

1 – 10 of over 2000