Whistleblowing and Ethical Motivations

Feb 3rd, 2012
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The term whistleblower was first used in England and referred to the practice of British police officers blowing a whistle when a crime was being committed. This would then raise the alarm to other law enforcement officers to alert them that something was endangering the public

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WHISTLEBLOWING AND ETHICAL MOTIVATIONS 1The term whistleblower was first used in England and referred to the practice of British police officers blowing a whistle when a crime was being committed. This would then raise the alarm to other law enforcement officers to alert them that something was endangering the public (Princeton, n.d.). Today, however, the term shares a much broader meaning and is met with a variety of ethical motivations. When we hear the term, "whistleblower", we know that someone has raised a concern regarding a possible wrongdoing in either a government agency or a private company, and they want to make others aware. The status of the whistleblower is often debated: as Rothschild and Miethe (1999) note, "some see whistleblowers as traitorous violators of organizational loyalty norms; other see whistleblowers as heroic defenders of values considered more important than company loyalty". In addition, whistleblowing is a "new form of worker resistance" relevant to the "unending battle between labor and management to control the workplace" (Rothschild, et.al, 1999). But with the right motives in place, whistleblowing is good for an organization or agency because it protects that organization and agency from fraud, misconduct, and in most cases, failure. And, when affective communication is in place, the organization's goals are kept in clear focus which can only be beneficial as an end result. This paper will focus on what ethical the

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