Organisational Wrongdoing, Whistleblowing and Retaliation: What we Think we Know and What we Need to Know. Janet P. Near Kelley School of Business Indiana University Bloomington, IN, USA. Why Does Whistleblowing Matter?. Costs of organisational wrongdoing in US:
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Janet P. Near
Kelley School of Business
Bloomington, IN, USA
Incidence Information: Federal Employees (1980-1992) and Directors of Internal Auditing who Observed Wrongdoing, Blew the Whistle and Suffered Retaliation (Miceli et al., 1991, 1999)
“The disclosure by organisation members (former or current) of illegal, immoral, or illegitimate practices under the control of their employers, to persons or organisations that may be able to effect action” (Near & Miceli, 1985, p. 4).
Internal or external whistleblowing
Not just recommending changes—has to involve wrongdoing
Purpose of whistleblowing is to get wrongdoing stopped
Focus on behaviour, not intent
Conceptual: “undesirable action taken against a whistleblower—and in direct response to the whistleblowing—who reported wrongdoing internally (i.e., within the organisation) or externally (i.e., outside the organisation).” (Miceli & Near, in press).
Operational: Sum of threatened and actual retaliations, termed “comprehensiveness of retaliation” (e.g., Miceli et al., 1999)
Types of Retaliation (US Military Sample) Sample, n=1125: ThreatenedExperienced
Co-workers not socializing with me .4% 11%
Pressure from co-workers to stop complaint 2% 5%
Tighter scrutiny of daily activities by management 2% 14%
Withholding of information needed to perform job 1% 10%
Personnel/staff withdrawn 0 9%
Verbal harassment or intimidation 5% 12%
Poor performance appraisal 2% 15%
Professional reputation was harmed 1% 7%
Charged with committing an unrelated offense 1% 7%
Denial of award 1% 7%
Denial of promotion 2% 7%
Denial of opportunity for training 1% 9%
Relocation of desk or work area in office .4% 5%
Imposed access restrictions to areas needed for job 1% 7%
Assignment to less desirable or less important duties 2% 8%
Reassignment to job with less desirable duties 1% 7%
Reassignment to a different geographical location 0 3%
Security clearance withdrawn .4% 1%
Required to take a fitness-for-duty exam 1% 2%
Suspension from job 0 .4%
Grade level demotion 0 .4%
Fired from job .4% .4%
Other 3% 3%
·Most whistleblowers didn’t suffer retaliation, and those who suffered retaliation did not differ reliably from other whistleblowers in terms of personal characteristics, such as age, gender, race, status in the organisation, pay, etc. (but among federal employees retaliation was positively related to education and inversely related to pay, performance and majority ethnic group: Miceli et al., 1999).
·Whistleblowers who did suffer retaliationoften felt that they had less support than others from managers and supervisors, and they were more likely to have used external channels to report the wrongdoing, rather than internal channels exclusively.
“the extent to which the questionable or wrongful practice (or omission) is terminated at least partly because of whistleblowing and within a reasonable time frame” (Near & Miceli, 1985: 681)
Basis for definition