The Whistleblower's Dilemma: A Comparative Perspective

Published: 2021-06-29 07:10:19
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While a number of attempts have been made to define whistle blowing, no single accepted definition exists. In spite of this, a few definitions are widely-used or frequently cited. One of the first definitions in the recent whistle blowing history given by Nader Ralph is that whistle blowing is the act of a person, deeming that the interest of the public outweighs the interest of the establishment he or she works, blowing the whistle that the establishment is in fraudulent, unethical, unlawful or risky activity (Sunita, 2005). Perhaps the most commonly used definition of whistle blowing was given by Sunita( 2005)that defined whistle blowing as "the disclosure of organizational member's (former or current) disclosure of illegal, immoral, or illegitimate practices under the control of their employers to persons or organizations that may be able to effect action" (p.293).
Whistle blowing in the U.S. and China
Although the current anti- corruption whistle blowing requirements of the Dodd-Frank Act of the U.S. have seen a lot of consideration and trepidation, it is essential to note that the government of China has, as well as U.S, lately boosted its whistle blowing efforts (as cited in Boeringer, Wysong & Bing, 2011). In both countries, the whistleblower setup functions by enticing and protecting persons who offer information to the authorities. It is this improved enthusiasm between law enforcement institutions in the US and China to share malpractice information that Lipman (2012) believes organizations should be aware of particularly the influence these systems may have on them.
America's whistle blowing legislation is perhaps the most complicated one in the world; the legislation is shaped by a multifarious assortment of paradoxical laws. In the U.S., legal defenses differ depending on the nature of the whistle blowing, and in some cases the State that the whistle blowing has occurred. In all, at the Federal level, there exists more than fifty legislation pieces. However, only three of theses - The Sarbanes-Oxley Act (Corporate and Criminal Accountability Act), the False Claims Act, and the Whistleblower Protection Act 1989-are most common. Starting with the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, the U.S system has stipulated provisions of giving better protection, as well as rewards, to persons that uncover misconduct in financial organizations(as cited in Boeringer, Wysong & Bing, 2011). Based largely on the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, the Dodd-Frank Act includes how persons will be protected from reprisal from an employer owing to the whistle blowing acts and the percentage of the fine imposed on an organization that the whistleblower works/worked. The Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989, on the other hand, is a federal law that safeguards whistleblowers that are the government's employees and report agency wrong doing (Lewis, 2010).
In China, rules of whistle blowing are specified by both the CCP Internal Supervision Rules and the Administrative Supervision Law. As stipulated by the appropriate law and regulations like the Administrative Supervision Law and its Implementing Regulations, incentives may be given to whistleblowers. Similar to legislation in the U.S., the 2009 Chinese Rules of Dealing with Whistle-blowing by the People's Prosecutors stipulates that when a whistle blowing tip-off is corroborated to be authentic, and a sentence is given, the whistleblower should be given physical incentives as well as spiritual rewards. According to the pertinent laws and regulations, stringent provisions are stipulated that ensure the whistleblowers are well protected and that reprisal is outlawed. Then again, in the real world protection of whistleblowers is said to be scrawny and retribution not surprising. What is more, the labor laws in China, unlike those of the U.S., are said to lack detailed stipulation with regard to whistle blowing (Lewis, 2010).

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