It goes without saying that organizational whistleblowing may be regarded as the substantially disturbing phenomenon of contemporary business operations. Whistleblowers are the company’s employees who report unethical, inappropriate, or illegal behavior discovered at work “that is contrary to the rules or social values shared within the company” (Devillier, 2016, p. 58). In the present day, whistleblowing occurs in multiple areas of business and in every industry all over the world.
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It is predominantly associated with illegal and unethical activities such as internal discrimination, workplace harassment, predatory sales practices, defrauding the government, or the ignorance of dangerous working conditions (FindLaw’s Team, n.d.). A whistleblower may report inappropriate actions to a manager within his or her company or an outside authority as well. Whistleblowing is regarded as an essential instrument of quality improvement in the marketplace (FindLaw’s Team, n.d.). That is why people who report complaints are protected by numerous laws, and the violation of these laws may influence business in a highly negative way.
However, in a substantial number of organizations, whistleblowing is encouraged and appreciated. The directors of these companies take action to eliminate the potential barriers of whistleblowing and address concerns immediately in order to correct mistakes and avoid costly whistleblower claims and embarrassing in the future. The most essential barrier or a major reason why people do not report wrongdoing is their fear of further retaliation. Unfortunately, despite the fact that this kind of retaliation is illegal and causes various fines or even criminal prosecution, it may include harassment, pay cuts, reassignment, demotions, and disciplinary actions (FindLaw’s Team, n.d.).
That is why employees do not want to report inappropriate behavior or working conditions, be identified as the source of whistleblowing and be responsible for its possible negative consequences. Other potential barriers to whistleblowing include the personal characteristic of individuals and a lack of belief that working conditions will be changed.
For the protection of whistleblowers who frequently become the victims of their own actions, multiple organizations worldwide introduce policies that include a well-defined system for prohibiting retaliation and managing complaints. In addition, whistleblower protection encourages the company’s workers to pass information concerning wrongdoing to address and prevent it in the future. In turn, business owners should consider the ramifications of whistleblower retaliation to avoid negative financial and legal penalties.
It goes without saying that the claims of whistleblowers may be unreliable and based on the complainer’s inner hidden motives and feelings or the existence of competition. However, in the majority of cases, people have significant reasons to inform about inappropriate working conditions. For instance, two military pilots complained about the operable conditions of the F-22 Raptor jet after several incidents when they had experienced “severe disorientation from a lack of oxygen,” or hypoxia, while flying (“Military whistleblowers express fears over safety and health,” 2012, para. 1). Unfortunately, regardless of additional reported incidents connected with hypoxia from other pilots, the exploitation of the jet was continued as the cause of fixing was not detected.
From a personal perspective, the whistleblowing policy should be introduced in every organization to prevent wrongdoing. Moreover, I suppose that it should contain the well-elaborated algorithm of actions for employees who think that they should pass the information concerning inappropriate working conditions or the behavior of other members of a company. Any potential whistleblower should be aware that any of his or her claims will be taken seriously. These measures will contribute to the employees’ working commitment and have a positive impact on the organization’s productivity as workers will feel safe and respected.
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Devillier, N. (2016). Whistleblowing policy and corporate governance strategy. European Journal of Economics and Management, 3(1), 57-73.
FindLaw’s Team. (n.d.). How to create a legal corporate whistleblower policy. Web.
Military whistleblowers express fears over safety and health. (2012). CBS News. Web.