Whistleblowing Essay Example

Published: 2022-05-20 14:29:04
Whistleblowing Essay Example
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories: Society
Pages: 7
Wordcount: 1744 words
15 min read
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In as much as societies may be corrupt, there are those members of the society who stand for the truth and others moral rights. Consequently, such individuals are prevalent in businesses and workplace settings leading to the emergence of whistleblowers that expose illegal and unethical practices. In so doing, whistleblowers highlight the plight of suffering employees, warn of impending crises of great effect to the environment and promote the conformance of societal norms and government laws. As a result, this essay seeks to expound on whistleblowing as it is a social issue affecting the workplace and working environment. The essay highlights unique worker groups affected by the issue analyzes how it can be supported using social controls and provides social economic benefits of recommended interventions. Moreover, the essay takes the view that whistleblowers play an important role in any society.

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Societal viewpoints on whistleblowing

Deceit, craft and foul play are inherent in many societies and have been part of mankind from ancient times; therefore, there is enough reason to believe that for a working society humanity needs to function through moral conceptions of right and wrongs. Moreover, it is important that the perceived processes by which wrongdoings are brought to light be given due recognition and this leads to the issue of exposing moral wrongs within the confines of societal groupings. As social beings, humanity organizes itself in groups for instance in institutions such organizations are driven by different interests; social, economic and political.

In many societies, whistleblowers play an important role and are perceived as heroes for their actions which save lives through warning of impending dangers. Moreover ignoring of whistleblowers comes with devastating effects such as profound environmental damage and accelerating the ever-present danger of global unsustainability. For instance, the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster would have been prevented had BP paid attention to numerous warnings from whistleblowers. The rigs mechanic had warned that the rig experienced problems that included, sudden gas releases due to high gas pressure, a pipe falling into the well and several occasions of the blowout preventer valve leaking fluid (Kwok, I, 2017). All these were tale-tell signs of an impending catastrophe.

The BP incident entailed a blowout and subsequent oil spill on the Gulf of Mexico that resulted from a flawed plan that failed to include enough cement in both production and protection casing of the drilling rig. Consequently, many lives were lost and it became the largest environmental disaster for the U.S. Secondly, the society views whistleblowers as a prerequisite and indispensable asset for a healthy society. This is because of whistleblowers act in the public interest, have autonomy of judgment and the personal courage to challenge malpractices and illegalities that have the profound impact on the society.

In spite of their immense contribution to the society by containing illegalities and unethical conduct and in the process serving a deterrent effect to wrongdoings, whistleblowers are regarded as traitors and some members of the society are hostile towards them. In fact, in tracing the roots of the term whistleblower it seems to be a sugar-coated version of the word snitch. In societies that are entrenched in morally unacceptable behaviors, going against the norm would earn one the title snitch. Consequently, such individuals are isolated from the society and sometimes their lives are endangered, for example, many formers KGB agents have been labeled traitors for their expositions against wrongdoings, wheeler-dealing and corruption in Russia. Such include Alexandra Litvinenko a KGB colonel who was assassinated in London, worse off his killers are now members of the Russian parliament. Another case is that of a former CIA agent Edward Snowden who has been branded traitor for his revelations of clandestine surveillance on U.S. residents and is now a wanted man. On that score, it is clear that the society is equally hostile to whistleblowers.

Workplace viewpoints on whistleblowing

The workplaces are by large an extension of the society, therefore, there is a similar reaction to whistleblowers, nonetheless in organizational context proponents and opponents of the practice tend to lie in those that benefit from the practice and those that do not. Besides that in a workplace set up, there are two types of whistleblowers; internal and external whistleblowers. According to Korgen et al, (2015), internal whistleblowers are employees who step up and report illegalities and moral wrongs to a person of authority, often the management within the organization. On the other hand, external whistleblowers report ethical violations to external agencies such as the government, human right groups, civil societies and media outlets.

Employers and management

Whistleblowers perform a key role of speaking out and in so doing; their actions occasionally entail reporting unethical practices to superiors or journalists who in the age of technological advancements are an increasingly important tool for bringing attention to issues. Whistleblowers may choose non-violent actions which include petitions, speeches, letters of content and discontent and public statements which are largely permissible in liberal democracies. Nonetheless, managers and employers are usually threatened by whistleblower actions; consequently, they are subjected to attempts to shut them down. Such include transfers, lack of promotions, demeaning referrals to psychologists, demotions, punitive reprimands and occasional petty harassments. In so doing management and employers hope to counter the claims by capitalizing on extrinsically induced motivation which uses fear of repercussions as a deterrent to employees. By large, these reactions amount to injustices especially when the management results in attacks on the whistleblowers credibility, income and working conditions.

The threat perception, skepticism and aggressive responses to employees who make disclosures are greatly influenced by the lack of a well-established framework to handle dissident from within. Moreover, there are difficulties in distinguishing employee motives as there are cases where malicious employees adopt the cover of a whistleblower. Furthermore, such reactions are accelerated by the need to defend job, in that should a public inquiry or board of management confirm the presupposition of the employees, the management is likely to face severe repercussions which can include dismissal. However, some organizations are also keen on addressing whistleblowers that might be making certain allegations as a result of the fear of such employees turning out to be true.

Within fellow employees

Whistleblowers are largely celebrated by fellow colleagues as they are not only a voice of reason but also a representation of an embodiment of courage and advocacy of better working condition. Such positive perceptions and acceptance arise from the fact that there are as there are few instances where misguided employees adopt the guise of a whistleblower. Therefore, in most cases whistleblowers raise issues of genuine concern, such entail fair remuneration, equal treatment of employees and fair promotion. Moreover, employee concerns are sometimes influenced by the need to do right as Kantian ethics call for individuals intentions and subsequent actions need to be based on principles that all would wish to be universal laws (Kant, 2017). For instance, whistleblower actions may be informed by dissatisfaction from the production of substandard products that affect consumers.

Most affected group

Technological advancements in transport and communication have seen better and increasing interactions between governments, businesses, individuals, and countries (Globalization easily explained explainity explainer video, 2014). In fact, globalization has seen economic, social and cultural integration between countries; consequently, there has been the internationalization of currencies, cultural and ideological exchanges and the emergence of the global superpowers such as China. Furthermore, globalization has opened up borders, for instance it was instrumental in the collapses of the Berlin wall and in so doing promoted world peace as countries are having betters diplomatic ties, In addition, Globalization has transformed American production and service processes through outsourcing, offshoring, and lately through, reshoring (Korgen et al, 2015).

Nonetheless, globalization has had its downsides such as unfair business practices and unhealthy competition and the influx of immigrant workers as a result of opening up of borders. Consequently companies have increasingly undermined workplace ethics and this has led to the emergence of whistleblowers that expose illegal and unethical practices within organizations. This is because large numbers of migrants in the U.S are mainly from poor countries that are forced out of native countries by push factors: economic difficulties and political instabilities.

Hansen, (2001), reveals that globalization has made it easy to get arms for fueling conflicts also has made it increasingly difficult for poor countries to compete effectively in global markets, therefore, they remain undeveloped. Therefore, when in the U.S, they are willing to work in pitiable conditions and in jobs that Native Americans would not want. In so doing they are imperfect substitutes for the more expensive American labor. While this is positive for the economy as companies benefit from cheap and a steady supply of labor, the very companies have turned out to exploit them, therefore migrants are most affected. For instance, according to Soni, (2013), a group of migrant workers at a Louisiana Wal-Mart supplier had their families threatened with violence after they allegedly forced labor.

Positive and negative aspects of whist blowing

To begin with the positives, whistleblowing serves as an early warning system in that whistleblowers are often proficient and committed employees who are serious about avoiding negative consequences facing their firm from regulators or the law. Therefore, the negative practices exposed by the whistleblower could've become even more costly and damaging had they been left undetected. Secondly, whistleblowers are instrumental in shaping an organizational culture that encourages freedom of speech and expression; one that supports employees in voicing their concerns without fear of reprisal, Consequently, the company is able to mitigate the corporate damage and costly legal suits that come with expositions of external flag-raisers as it is best poised to manage and contain the situation.

Thirdly, it is important in ensuring conformance to the duty of care that manufacturers have to consumers and the environment by being compliant with consumer protection laws. Fourthly and most importantly is that whistleblowing is among the most effective ways of combating fraud. In fact, according to Robinson, et al, ( 2012), a major difficulty in detecting fraud is that it often is observed by only a small number of individuals, therefore fraudulent activities can easily remain undetectable by internal control mechanisms. Nonetheless, organizational members are an important control resource for fraud detection and minimization through whistleblowing. Lastly, organizations that uphold workplace ethics environments have more engaged employees and are more concerned with doing what is best for their organization, customers, and communities. In so doing such brands enjoy positive brand perception and social equity.

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Whistleblowing Essay Example. (2022, May 20). Retrieved from https://speedypaper.com/essays/whistleblowing-essay-example

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