n Journal of Public Administration - Key issues in the whistle blowing process

Volume 39, Issue 4
  • ISSN : 0036-0767



In recent years, in the wake of disasters and frauds there has been a growing awareness of the potential importance of reacting to employee whistle blowers. In this article a brief overview of existing cases of corruption where the potential value of employees raising concern over malpractices, is largely evident, is given. Whistle blowing has been defined often and in differing ways in the literature. An attempt is made to clarify the meaning of whistle blowing and to argue for a narrow interpretation of a whistle blower which contains three necessary social actors, each of whom takes actions in response to the others. This article explores the controversial stages of whistle blowing with an emphasis on the options and dilemmas in blowing the whistle. It argues that given its important functions and implications, whistle blowing should be encouraged and protected in institutions. The issues that have come up suggest what steps in institutions are necessary to maintain a positive culture of whistle blowing. Since external disclosures are clearly undesirable, the challenge for employers is to devise a policy and procedures which positively encourage the internal reporting of concerns.

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