Whistle blowing can be defined in a number of ways. In its simplest form, whistle blowing involves the act of reporting wrongdoing within an organization to internal or external parties. A Whistle Blower is someone who exposes what he or she considers the unconscionable practices of his or her organisation.
Key Elements of Whistle Blowing
There are four key elements of the whistle blowing process which are •
The whistle blower.
The act or complainant the whistle blower is concerned about. •
The party to whom the complaint or the report is made.
The organisation against which the complaint is made.
- Internal whistle blowing entails reporting the information to a source within the organization. - External whistle blowing occurs when the whistleblower takes the information outside the organization, such as to the media or regulators. External whistleblowers, however, report misconduct on outside persons or entities. In these cases, depending on the information's severity and nature, whistleblowers may report the misconduct to lawyers, the media, law enforcement or watchdog agencies, or other local, state agencies. In some cases, external whistle blowing is encouraged by offering monetary reward.
The objectives of an internal whistle blowing program are
To encourage employees to bring ethical and legal violations they are aware of to an internal authority so that action can be taken immediately to resolve the problem •
To minimize the organization's exposure to the damage that can occur when employees circumvent internal mechanisms •
To let employees know the organization is serious about adherence to codes of conduct
Barriers to Internal Whistle Blowing
The barriers to a successful internal whistle blowing program are •
A lack of trust in the internal system
Unwillingness of employees to be "snitches"
Misguided union solidarity
Belief that management is not held to the same standard
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