When successful and ethical managers are alerted to possible organizational wrongdoing, they take corrective action before the problems become crises. However, recent research [e.g., Rynes et al. (2007, Academy of Management Journal50(5), 987–1008)] indicates that many organizations fail to implement evidence-based practices (i.e., practices that are consistent with research findings), in many aspects of human resource management. In this paper, we draw from years of research on whistle-blowing by social scientists and legal scholars and offer concrete suggestions to managers who (...) are interested in encouraging internal reporting of problems requiring attention, and to observers of questionable activity who are considering reporting it. We also identify ways that research suggests policy-makers can have a more positive influence. We hope that these suggestions will help foster evidence-based practice regarding whistle-blowing. (shrink)
Abstract:We analyzed data from a survey of employees of a large military base in order to assess possible differences in the whistle-blowing process due to type of wrongdoing observed. Employees who observed perceived wrongdoing involving mismanagement, sexual harassment, or unspecified legal violations were significantly more likely to report it than were employees who observed stealing, waste, safety problems, or discrimination. Further, type of wrongdoing was significantly related to reasons given by employees who observed wrongdoing but did not report it, across (...) all forms of wrongdoing. However, the primary reason that observers did not report it was that they thought nothing could be done to rectify the situation. Finally, type of wrongdoing was significantly related to the cost of the wrongdoing, the quality of the evidence about the wrongdoing, and the comprehensiveness of retaliation against the whistle-blower. These findings suggest that type of wrongdoing makes a difference in the whistle-blowing process, and it should be examined in future research. (shrink)
Research on whistle-blowing has been hampered by a lack of a sound theoretical base. In this paper, we draw upon existing theories of motivation and power relationships to propose a model of the whistle-blowing process. This model focuses on decisions made by organization members who believe they have evidence of organizational wrongdoing, and the reactions of organization authorities. Based on a review of the sparse empirical literature, we suggest variables that may affect both the members' decisions and the organization's responses.
Comparable worth is a controversial compensation strategy. In this paper, research issues that arise when employers perform point-based job evaluations, but deviate from them because of market factors, are discussed. Greater research attention to the actual operation of markets and to the consequences of conflicts in equity perceptions is encouraged.
Who blows the whistle — a loner or a well-liked team player? Which of them is more likely to lead a successful opposition to perceived organizational wrongdoing? The potential influence of co-worker pressures to conform on whistle-blowing activity or the likely effects of whistle-blowing on the group have not been addressed. This paper presents a preliminary model of whistle-blowing as an act of nonconformity. One implication is that the success of an opposition will depend on the characteristics of the whistle-blower (...) and how the complaint is pursued. Specific hypotheses and general suggestions for future research and practice are offered. (shrink)