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Too much corporate responsibility: whistleblowing and whistleblowing procedures

Too much corporate responsibility: whistleblowing and whistleblowing procedures

Vandekerckhove, Wim ORCID: 0000-0002-0106-7915 (2010) Too much corporate responsibility: whistleblowing and whistleblowing procedures. In: Moral Responsibility: analytic approaches, substantive accounts and case studies, October 18-19, 2010, Ghent University, Belgium. (Unpublished)

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Whistleblowing is ‘the disclosure by organization members (former or current) of illegal, immoral or illegitimate practices under the control of their employers, to persons or organizations that may be able to affect action’ (Near and Miceli, 1985, 4). In this presentation I explore how research into whistleblowing and regulatory developments around the issue, impact the validity of notions of responsibility in the context of whistleblowing. Research during the 1990s has rendered the assumed dilemma of citizen responsibility and employee responsibility obsolete. The implications are that internal and external whistleblowing belong in the same behavioural category, and that hence the ‘one million dollar question’ with regard to responsibility shifts from the whistleblower to the manager.

In the past thirty years numerous pieces of legislation have been passed to offer protection to whistleblowers from retaliation for disclosing organisational wrongdoing. An area that remains uncertain in relation to whistleblowing and its related policies in organisations, is whether these policies actually increase the individualisation of work, allowing employees to behave in accordance with their conscience and in line with societal expectations or whether they are another management tool to control employees and protect organisations from them. I examine the assumptions of whistleblower protection with regard to moral autonomy, and submit that this makes employees not just responsible, but also liable for ethics at work.

Both shifts open up new research paths into responsibility in the contexts of organisations and whistleblowing. I conclude by briefly sketching these.

Item Type: Conference or Conference Paper (Paper)
Additional Information: The conference is organized and hosted by the Center for Ethics & Value Inquiry (CEVI), Ghent University, in collaboration with the Centre for Research Ethics and Ethical Deliberation (CREED, Edge Hill University) and the Centre for Applied Philosophy, Politics and Ethics (CAPPE, University of Brighton).
Uncontrolled Keywords: whistleblowing, right, duty, moral obligation, responsibility, whistleblowing policy
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HF Commerce
Faculty / School / Research Centre / Research Group: Faculty of Business > Centre for Work and Employment Research (CREW) > Work & Employment Research Unit (WERU)
Faculty of Business > Department of Human Resources & Organisational Behaviour
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Last Modified: 08 Oct 2019 09:05

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