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WhistleBlowing – Origin, Meaning, Problems Involved in it.

What is Whistle Blowing?
Correcting a wrong action in any place, whether at work, or any other place, is a part of a person’s responsibility to society. Whistleblowers take such role, which is a major part of correcting the wrong practices performed at the work place. 

Whistle Blower
Simple Definition?
Whistle blowing is the “disclosure by organization members of illegal, immoral, or illegitimate practices under the control of their employers, to a person or organizations that may be able to effect action”

Origin of the word “Whistle Blowing”?
Where did the word Whistle Blowing come from? The term is derived from the act of a referee in a sport event where the referee blows the whistle to stop the action, usually on account of an illegal play.

Problems face by a Whistle blower/ Ethical Issues involved in WB?
Although the act of whistle blowing might be morally justified and there are whistleblower protection acts, whistleblowers often face retaliation from employers when they attempt to stop inappropriate, actions.

Should an employee report the wrong doing (whistle blow) keeping his/her career at stake?

Yes, it’s the employee’s duty to report to the concerned person regarding any illegal actions is being carried by any person(s) and should curb such actions. 
For example, it is a nurse’s moral duty to expose her boss (doctor) if she finds out that her boss is conducting unnecessary surgery to enrich himself.
Undoubtedly, the nurse might suffer harassment and even end her career because she whistleblowed. By whistle blowing, she might have saved the life of an individual who might have died from a complication involving an unnecessary surgery.

Repercussions involved in Whistle blowing with suitable examples.

Whistle blowing in Public Sector:
The Public Sector is more bureaucratically structured rather than the private sector. The public sector are all kinds of from federal to local government agencies.

A well-known whistleblower, quoted “if you have God, the law, the press and the facts on your side, you have a fifty-fifty chance of defeating the bureaucracy” - Hugh Kanfman.

One of the reasons why whistleblowers have difficulty finding a job is that they tend to have a special position which for the most part is not available in the same industry or other industries.

Case Study Example: Jim Boyd, who has twenty years of experience as an associate with Senator Thomas Dodd got fired after he blew the whistle on the Senator. Boyd exposed Senator Dodd for misusing over $200,000 of campaign money for personal expenses. Despite months of searching,

Boyd had difficulty finding a job for two reasons.

i)     No Senator wants to hire him after he exposed a well known Senator.
ii)   His position’s turnover rate in the political arena is very low, and thus it was very difficult finding an open spot.

Most of the times the employers put the whistleblower’s name on a blacklist and making them difficult in finding a new job in same field.  This will terrify the employees and force them not to expose any wrong doing and prevent themselves by not hitting the blacklist.

Whistle blowing in Private Sector;
In this sector usually either matrix or team structure is followed.  Although in the private sector changing careers will be easier than in the public sector, those individuals who blew the whistle still have difficulty finding re-employment.
Whistle Blowing

Case study Example: For instance, Ronald Brown, a stockbroker, complained of illegal conduct at Wheat First. Mr. Brown alleged that brokers in the firm excessively used clients’ accounts without their authorization (Nash, 1999). Mr. Brown was harassed, fired, and black-listed after he blew the whistle. Most security firms would not hire him after he blew the whistle at Wheat First because the information he revealed to the outside world harmed the company financially.

Another example involves a top executive, Mark Whitecre, who got fired from Archer Daniels  Midland Company (ADM) after he had made secret tapes for the FBI regarding the company’s price fixing (Kelley, 1996). The company not only fired and black-listed him, it accused him of embezzling nine million dollars.

Other Factors for a whistleblower not getting a Job:
·         Since a whistleblower is usually old, age is another important factor in prohibiting re-employment of a whistleblower.
·         Employers are reluctant to hire whistleblowers is because their action is seen as a breach of loyalty.
·         Some of the whistleblowers who are fired sue their past employer for unfair termination. Instead of looking for a job, they await a legal resolution hoping to regain their previous job.

Possible solutions from the Employers for the Whistle Blowing Issues:
The Whistle Blowing Policy has to be build in such a way that apart for strengthening the whistleblower laws are
·         Employees should be encouraged to communicate their ethical concerns internally.
·         Employees need to believe that their concerns will be taken seriously.
·         Employees need to feel that they will not suffer any retaliation for their action.


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