Whsitle Blowing - a Dilemma

Published: 2021-06-29 07:07:23
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Category: Philosophy

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Whistle Blowing - A Dilemma
Today's complex and decentralized organization gives rise to organizational needs for both loyalty and institutionalized whistle blowing. Because most organizations depend on computer systems that electronically store important data to perform crucial business functions, the integrity of these information systems is paramount. Securing company systems, however, is not always an easy task. It gives rise to a very tricky situation for employees which can make decision making a dilemma. This paper discusses the various aspects of whistle blowing and tries to look at it from the viewpoint of utilitarianism. It also throws light on different ways loyalty can be interpreted and lays out guidelines for employees to consider when blowing the whistle.
Bowie (1982) defines whistle-blowing as "the act of an employee informing the public on the immoral or illegal behavior of an employee or supervisor." Whistle blowing is a controversial organizational issue. On the positive side, whistleblowers can help organizations correct unsafe products or working conditions and curb fraudulent or wasteful practices. Conversely, whistleblowers may threaten an organization's authority structure, cohesiveness, and public image (Weinstein 1979). Despite the problems, there is an increased interest on the part of managers in the issue of whistle blowing and how to handle such incidents.
Whistle blowing can be external, internal, personal and impersonal. It is internal where the whistle blower talks to people higher up in the organization or external where it is reported to the media, enforcement agencies or public interest groups (Weiss, 2006). It is personal if harm is reportedly done only to the whistle blower and impersonal if harm observed is done to another. The act of blowing the whistle by an individual is sometimes considered as being disloyal to the organization or company that he or she is attached with. The generally prevailing view of the whistle blower within business, on the part of the management and colleagues, is that this person is a traitor to the organization (DeGeorge, 1985). Business corporations anticipate the possibility of disloyalty by requiring employees to sign confidentiality agreements, assenting to the principle that the business of the corporation is the business of the corporation (Grant, 2002).Whistle-blower violated their role as loyal agents of the corporations and betrays their employees and coworkers. Bok (1981) identified three central elements of whistle blowing - dissent, breach of loyalty and accusation.
Whistle blowing as an ethical issue - Whistle blowing entails an ethical dilemma as the individual considering becoming a whistle blower is torn between two competing loyalties:

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