Whistle Blowing

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Business Ethics

Title of Assignment: Term Paper

Whistle Blowing

This assignment was done in partial fulfillment of the requirements of the Finance Major course (BBA 4)

Term paper (GROUP ASSIGNMENT)

THE PAPER WILL REQUIRE SOME RESEARCH AND CRITICAL REFLECTION ON WHAT HAS BEEN COVERED IN THE LECTURES AND TUTORIALS.

The term paper will be on a topic of interest to the student, but requires the approval of the tutor. You may choose a topic from current issues in the news, or select one from the chapters in the text or from the course outline. The term paper will provide a critical analysis of issues in business ethics. This will require further readings with an examination of the views of other writers on the selected topic.

The following guideline should assist:

1. Describe the content area; reference should be made to the views of other writers (agreeing or disagreeing with their views)

2. Identify, analyse and discuss the ethical concerns related to the area of interest

3. Discuss the issue using the ethical perspective; utilitarian, moral rights justice etc.

4. Describe the relevance and impact of the issue on the business firm, society and employees. Particular reference should be made to the Jamaican organisations

5. Make recommendations as to how the issue can be managed

6. Conclusion

Format: the paper is in the form of an essay and should be 12-15 pages, double space, with: table of content, references and bibliography

Headings can be used but the essay should flow with good transitional sentences to guide the reader.

Group size: 5-7 persons per group.

Literature Review on Whistle Blowing

Whistle blowing can be defined as “an attempt by an employee or former employee of an organization to disclose what he or she believes to be wrongdoings in or by the organization” (James, 1995). Another definition of whistle blowing is “the disclosure of illegal, unethical or harmful practices in the workplace to parties who might take action” (Uys, 2000).

In general, the activity is seen as whistle blowing if the disclosure of information is considered to be in the public interest which would entail information about criminal activity, a contravention of any statute, improper or unauthorized use of public and other funds, miscarriage of justice, abuse of power, misadministration, danger to health and safety of any individual and any other misbehavior or malpractice (Kloppers, 1997). The act of whistle blowing may have a detrimental effect on interpersonal relations between the whistleblower and their co-workers (Davis, 1989). Some might become enemies; other might avoid the whistleblower in order not to become tainted while others might start looking at the whistleblower differently.

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...
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