Bouville. (2008). Whistle-Blowing and Morality. The Journal of Business
Ethics. 81 (3), p579–585. Journal Article.
Z. TaylorMary B. Curtis. (2010). An Examination of the Layers of Workplace
Influences in Ethical Judgments: Whistleblowing Likelihood and Perseverance in
Public Accounting. The Journal of Business Ethics. 93 (1), p21–37. Journal Article.
KingIII. (1999). The Implications of an Organization’s Structure on
Whistleblowing. The Journal of Business Ethics. 20 (4), p315–326. Journal Article.
W.Reynolds (2012). Ethics in Information Technology. 3rd ed. Boston,
USA: Joe Sabatino. p331-373. Book.
McCallister, Timothy Grance, Karen A. Scarfone., (2010). Guide to Protecting the Confidentiality of Personally Identifiable
Information (PII). National Institute of Standards and Technology Special
Publication 800-122 Natl. Inst. Stand. Technol. Spec. Publ. 800-122, 59 pages.
Like there’s no rose without a
thorn, either way whistleblowing would or would not be considered as wrong
doing depending on the weightage of the consequence relating to the company and
the person himself.
Internal whistle blowing is being
encouraged by many legal systems and legislations where there is also a
probability factor that the person may have chosen to leak information about
the company which may have negatively affected the society in the future and
hence forth the whistle-blower might be saved in the face of law, if proven
that the information leaked would cause a commotion.
Whistle-blowers need to be
insiders, that is, either currently or previously associated with the
organization and a further discrepancy may be made between open and anonymous
whistleblowing during a situation.
To conclude and summarize the
essay, this literature explains that whistleblowing is a serious ethical
dilemma where from the perspective of ethics in general, whistle-blowers are
faced with deciding whether to break the bond of loyalty to their respective
organizations or to make a 3rd party aware about it in such a
situation apart from being beneficial or elsewise.
“Whistle-blowing is generally
considered from the viewpoint of professional morality. Morality rejects the
idea of choice and the interests of the professional as immoral. Yet the
dreadful retaliations against the messengers of the truth make it necessary for
morality to leave a way out of whistle-blowing. Therefore it forges rights
(sometimes called duties) to trump the duty to the public prescribed by
professional codes. This serves to hide the obvious fact that whether to blow
the whistle is indeed a choice, not a matter of objective duty. One should also
notice that if it fails to achieve anything then blowing the whistle was the
wrong decision (or maybe the right decision that nobody would want to make).
There is nevertheless a tendency to judge it based on the motivation of the
whistle blower. In a way, whistle blowers should strive to act like saints.
Yet, it is logically impossible to hold both whistle-blowing as mandatory and
whistle-blowers as heroes or saints. Moreover, this tends to value the great
deeds of a few over the lives of the many, which is incompatible with the basic
assumptions of morality.” (Mathieu Bouville,2008)
More over as per Eileen and Mary’s
sayings “First, it directly implies ethical failure and involves one person
judging the ethical behaviour of another. Second, whistleblowing is often
anonymous, depriving the reported-on an individual the right to face his or her
accuser. Third, whistleblowing often entails reporting outside of the
established lines of communication and authority. Finally, whistleblowing
requires trust in those at the top of the organization to take appropriate
actions when they learn of misdeeds by their employees. Unfortunately, even
when wrong doing is detrimental to many people external to the organization
(e.g. fraudulent ?nancial reporting, hacking into to the system resulting in
arti?cially high stock prices and leaking sensitive data regarding the
organization), those internal to the organization often view the whistle-blower’s
report (rather than the initial wrongdoing) as the cause of their losses.
Evidence of widespread retaliation and cost to the whistle-blower himself is
well documented. However uncomfortable we are with the notion of reporting on
the behaviour of others, whistleblowing is an important organizational control.
Indeed, industry surveys and academic
research support the contention that reporting mechanisms aid in the prevention
and detection of unethical behaviour. “(Eileen Z and
Mary B, 2010)
For an example, “Internal
disclosures allow organizations a chance to fix problems before they develop
into full-blown scandals in the eyes of public”. Furthermore, internal
disclosure creates an ethical atmosphere within the organization where
employees are encouraged to report unethical behaviour. If, however, the
organization’s climate is favourable to suppressing internal disclosure, the
wrongdoing may go unreported for months causing the organization to suffer.
Although internal and external whistleblowing appear to be different, they are
conceptually similar. For instance, both forms of whistleblowing start with
individuals observing organizational wrongdoings committed by executives/
managers or employees. Besides, both use the active voice (that is, verbal
communication) as a means of eliminating the wrongdoing, instead of alternative
approaches, such as sabotage or violence where both forms of whistleblowing may
threaten organizational norms and culture, creating an atmosphere of animosity
and retaliation against the observer of the wrongdoing.” (Granville, 1999)
“On the other hand, in
circumstances where the wrongdoer is a higher official, the observer of the
wrongdoing could report the incident to other members of upper management who
could eliminate the unlawful act. This type of action may be accompanied by the
exiting of the wrongdoer and/or rebel. Whistleblowing is a sensitive style of
communication which requires the successful communicator to consider the
audience, purpose, language, and tone of the wrongdoing that is being
disclosed. There are a couple of benefits to internal whistleblowing as opposed
to external disclosure.” (Granville, 1999)
For an example, “an IT
professional of a company may know and have access to the organization’s
sensitive information regarding the accounting side of its aspect since he or
she may be in charge of the ERP system and may notice the numbers are being
fraudulent in the company’s record. A conscientious employee would call the
problem to management’s attention and try to correct it by working with
appropriate resources within the company. But what if the employee’s attempt to
correct the problem through internal channels was dissatisfied or ignored? The
employee could then consider becoming a whistle-blower and reporting the
problem to people outside the company, including state or federal agencies that
have jurisdiction. Obviously, such actions could have negative consequences on
the employee’s job, perhaps resulting in vengeance and firing. In May 2005,
Oracle Corporation paid $8 million to settle charges that it fraudulently
collected fees before providing training for clients and failed to comply with
federal travel regulations in billing for travel and expenses. The charges
arose from a whistle-blower lawsuit brought by a former Oracle vice president.
As a result of the settlement, the whistle-blower received $1.58 million of the
$8 million total settlement.” (Reynolds, 2012)
“Whistle-blowing is an
effort by an employee to attract attention to a negligent, illegal, unethical,
abusive, or dangerous act by a company that threatens the public interest and
that of the organization. Whistle-blowers often have access to special
information based on their expertise or position within the offending
organization.” (Reynolds, 2012)
the modern technology that is being used in work places promises competitive
advantages to the organization it also increases apprehensions about unethical
information practices by employees who are caught up in an ethical dilemma.
These technologies also makes it much easier to copy and distribute information
among the organization and 3rd parties as IT professionals gain
access to equipment and information to violate intellectual property and
privacy decisions.” (Erika et al, 2010)