Synonyms: Unauthorized reporting of malpractice
Description: Employees who are aware of illegal or unethical practice in the institutions that they work for may report this to external authority with responsibility for safeguarding the public interest. This may involve going to the media if no other course is practicable. Reporting malpractice is therefore a means of ensuring accountability.
Context: Past experience has demonstrated that it is in the interests of any organization that is concerned for its reputation that employees concerned by operational inadequacies should report any form of malpractice. Whistleblowing tends to result in difficulties for the person reporting malpractice. This may range from the recriminations of fellow employees, through constraints on career advancement, to dismissal, to professional blacklisting that seriously jeopardizes the whistleblower's livelihood.
Implementation: A 24 hour telephone hotline for whistleblowers to inform on U.K. companies involved in price fixing and market sharing was in february 1995 by the Government.
Claim: Society owes a debt of gratitude to its whistleblowers. If organizations and their executives subscribed to high moral standards, there would be no malpractice, no need for regulation and consequently no need for whistleblowers. In contemporary society vigilance is needed to deal with illegal price-fixing, disregard for health and safety rules, cheating on contractual arrangements, abuse and incompetence, and fraud. It is an unsatisfactory procedure but constitutes a necessary safeguard.
Counter Claim: Whistleblowing is simply another term for informing; societies that encourage informers were infamous tyrannies. Whistleblowing has unfortunate negative effects on organization morale. Potential whistleblowers should exhaust internal channels before communicating with external authorities.
Type Classification: F: Exceptional strategies