Bouville. (2008). Whistle-Blowing and Morality. The Journal of Business Ethics.
81 (3), p579–585. Journal Article.
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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.
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Information (PII). National Institute of Standards and Technology Special
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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.” (Bouville,2008)
“More over as per Eileen and Mary’s
sayings Whistle blowing has a volatile reputation, at best. 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.” (Taylor and Curtis, 2010)
“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 i.e., 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.” (King III, 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. For an example, Internal disclosures allow organizations a chance
to fix problems before they develop into full-blown scandals in the eyes of
public.” (King III, 1999)
“However according to Granville whistleblowing
can occur when parties external to the organization are informed of illegal or
unlawful wrongdoing within an organization. These individuals may be members of
the media, government officials, members of public support groups, or various
other parties external to the organization who can bring about change.
definition of whistleblowing, however, describes it as taking place when a
person reports individual or corporate wrongdoing to sources either internal or
external to the organization. Internal whistleblowing may be defined as
disclosure to sources within the organization (for example, members of upper
management and supervisors) who can bring about effective change regarding a
perceived wrongdoing. Reports of wrongdoing to co-workers (peer reporting),
however, would not be considered whistleblowing.” (Granville,
“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.” (McCallister et al, 2010)
is going to include a short study into the incentives in the aspects of
whistleblowing instances as well as its influence to an organization.
The question of ethical behavior in the IT industry is beginning to get spoken.
Unlike older and more recognized professions such as medicine and law, most
ethical issues from IT and security professionals have not yet been organized
into law, nor is there a standard obligatory oversight body that has
established a comprehensive code of ethics for IT professionals and hence it is
essential for an organization to look into the ethical dilemmas concerning
privacy, breach of confidentiality, whistleblowing to maintain a principled
environment for individuals to carry upon their work successfully.
Information technology takes over more of our lives and the ethical difficulties
of decisions made by software developers, programmers and IT professionals is
only becoming greater day by day.
of this learning is to explore and analyze the different consequences and
effects of leaking confidential information about an organization to the
environment within the organization or outside fighting through ethical
dilemmas and wrong doing. This paper also gives a brief idea on Whistle blowing
in the IT industry mainly and some of the different variables that influence
people to breach confidentiality to an internal party or third party. The goal
is to of this article is to provide brief understanding on whistle blowing.
Asia Pacific Institute of Information
Significances of Whistleblowing.