What if you have knowledge of serious wrongdoing and are not in a position to stop it yourself? Whistleblowing potentially involves serious risks – to your reputation, career, and financial stability. Before you take this step, you should consider the importance of the issue to you, your intentions, and the risks and benefits of acting or not acting. When planning the action, it is important to review the power structure of the organization, consider timing issues, develop alternatives, and carefully strategize about how you will communicate the issue.
When blowing the whistle, you should try to respect the chain of command. That means starting with your immediate manager and then going to the next level if you are not satisfied with the results. If you still don’t get a response, this is the point where you should use the company’s internal ethics reporting system, if one exists. Only after these options are exhausted should you consider going outside the chain of command. And it is only when all else fails that you should consider going outside the company.
For your discussion:
Locate an article in the EC Library databases that discusses whistleblowing. Discuss the situation that led to an employee blowing the whistle on the organization. Should employees have freedom of conscience? Why or why not? Considering the long-term effects on employees of blowing the whistle, when should they engage in whistleblowing tactics? Identify some reasons why external whistleblowing occurs in any given situation
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