To Whistleblow or Not to Whistlebow - That Is the Question

Topics: Business ethics, Ethics, Whistleblower Pages: 4 (1317 words) Published: January 21, 2008
To Whistle Blow or Not To Whistle Blow – That Is the Question

The book defines a whistleblower to be someone who "Sounds an alarm from within the very organization in which they work, aiming to spotlight neglect or abuses that threaten the public interest." Whistle blowing can save an organization from performing unethical operations, but at the same time can be detrimental to the future employment of the whistleblower. Therefore, I believe that in certain circumstances, whistle blowing is necessary for the company's well-being, but is it worth it to whistle blow when your future career is at risk? In addition, I believe that in a majority of circumstances where a person's career is not a risk, that there is still no ethical obligation to whistle blow.

What type of situation determines whether there is an ethical obligation to act and be a whistle blower? I believe that there is no ethical or moral obligation to act unless there is physical or emotional harm on yourself or others, and in certain circumstances threatens the public's best interest. In most cases where there is an ethical obligation to act, I still believe that neither I nor many others would whistle blow in these situations because most people, including myself, look out for our own self interest.

To understand in which situations an ethical or moral obligation to whistle blow occurs, certain standards or "rules" need to be adopted. One of the best theories, in my opinion, on when it is morally required to whistle blow is The Standard Theory. This theory states that an individual is morally required to whistle blow when the following five conditions are met:

1.The organization to which the would-be whistleblower belongs will, through its product or policy, do serious considerable harm to the public. 2.The would-be whistleblower has identified that threat or harm, reported it to her immediate superior, making clear both the threat itself and the objection to it, and...
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