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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Impact of Whistle-blowing

Impact of Whistleblowing
Whistleblowing is the topic of dissent at the workplace whose ultimate impact is to benefit the society as a whole. The Whistleblowing has significant impact on employee, organization and society level. Concerns at the employee level, Whistleblowing entail the moral dilemmas and conflicts of interests faced by employees who go public with a charge of organizational wrongdoing. Concerns at the organizational level, Whistleblowing focus on such issues as corporate organizational culture, loyalty, and dissent channels; and at the society level, Whistleblowing encompasses social accountability and regulation as well as the formation of public interest support group. (T. Judtha A.)
On the employee level:
Whistleblower is an employee of an organization who widens an awareness of an organizational product or service or policy considered to be unethical, immoral, illegal or dangerous to the public. Whistleblower on such case, report organizational wrongdoing to immediate supervisor, corporate top level administration and at last takes the protest outside of organization to public press or other support group to express the dissatisfaction (T. Judtha A). Such individual employee will be praised, if his/her whistle is appropriate and benefits the organization and society from wrongdoing. Similarly, if the Whistle is not appropriate and the employee does not have valid evidence and proof of organizational wrongdoing, then he/she will be fired by the company and will have very ghastly relationship with fellow employees and would be guilt.

On the organization level:
According to Roberta Ann Johnson, “The short term impact of Whistleblowing is often negative. In some instances, whistleblower can weaken organizational chain of command, pose a threat to its effectiveness, unsettle employees’ confidence in their abilities to use discretion, and create a sense of unpredictability.”  When whistleblowers succeed in making the public aware of agency wrong doing, malfeasance, corruption or fraud, the news is bound to embarrass the agency.  In fact the publicity from Whistleblowing might also cause financial losses for the agency, a reduction in public support, increased management turnover, sometimes losses of organizational cohesion within the organization (Micelli and Near 1992). Whistleblower can, of course, have benefits for organization because they address the problem of dangerous practices or corruption, which ultimately increase productivity of organization. In the long run reduce the losses and cost which organization has to bear as consequences of wrongdoing.
According to Micelli and Near 1992, “the beneficial effects of Whistleblowing are especially apparent in high-stakes are of public health and safety because of the substantial potential dangers posed. Nuclear power plants, pharmaceutical firms, and automobile manufacturer are places where decisions can have consequences that would preserve life or its quality. For these organizations which operate daily with the threat of a misfortune, in event of mistakes, Whistleblowing could be a kind of early alarm system”.

On the Social level:
Broadly, Whistleblowing has the benefits for the society as a whole. All individuals and organizations operate within the social tertiary are the essential components of society. Therefore, the benefits of Whistleblowing for the employee and organization are ultimately the benefits of society. More specifically, Whistleblowing helps to “eliminate and control individual and organizational misconduct” (Johnson, R.A), unethical behavior, and wrongdoing both inside and outside the organization.

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