Breaking The SilenceWhistle Blowing is the instance of reporting
improper activities to an appropriate person. Richard T.De
FeaturesIndividual Act : Whistle Blowing is an act of an
individual i.e. a person or a group of person.Moral Motive : The
Whistle Blowing is done for a public good rather than for some
selfish motive.Reasonable Belief : The Whistle Blower beliefs that
the conduct for an activity reported is inappropriate.
Calling Attention : Whistle Blowing means calling attention of
proper authority to something which is wrong.Expectation Of
Positive Response : The Whistle Blower expects the organization or
the external agency to respond positively.Voluntary Act : Whistle
Blowing is voluntary and deliberate as there is no legal obligation
to do so.Several Types : The Person Blowing The Whistle maybe an
insider or an outsider. It maybe against a person, an organization
or a group and a government.
Types Of Whistle BlowingInternal Whistle Blowing : It refers to
disclose about the improper conduct of a person within the
organization. Its purpose is to get the matter investigated in
accordance with the organizations rules and procedures.External
Whistle Blowing : It refers to disclosure to outside agencies such
as the media, enforcement authorities and public interest
Personal Whistle Blowing : When a person or class of persons is
subjected to immoral behavior or exploitation, the disclosure is
called personal whistle blowing.
Corporate Whistle Blowing : It refers to disclosure about
misconduct on the part of a company.
Government Whistle Blowing : It refers to disclosure about wrong
or immoral conduct on the part of government officials or
Motives Of Whistle Blowing To Enforce Ethical Conduct : Whistle
Blowing is done to make the person or organization realize and
adopt ethical behavior.To Highlight the Dangers : One of the
reasons behind whistle blowing is to point out the possible dangers
from the use of a product or technology.To Highlight Threat to
Public : Disclosure is also made to point out the danger to life
and property due to a defective product or technique.To Motivate
Towards Morality : One of the motives of whistle blowing is to
inspire the mangers or government officials to adopt morals value
and ethical practices.
Is Whistle Blowing Morally Justified ?When whistle blowing is
based on an appropriate motive or utmost good faith.When the
whistle blower has exhausted all internal channels.When the whistle
blowers belief regarding the inappropriate conduct is based on
reasonable evidence.When the whistle blowers action has some chance
of exposing and/or avoiding the moral violation.When the whistle
blowers action is commensurate with responsibility for avoiding
and/or exposing moral violation.
When whistle blowing is morally unjustified ?Breach of trust :
When the disclosure amounts to breach of trust on the part of the
person making the disclosure.Internal Channels not used : When the
person making the disclosure has not tried internal channels to
prevent or stop the wrongdoing or misconduct.Insufficient Evidence
: When there is lack of clear and substantiated evidence that the
organization is doing something wrong which cause serious harm to
the other parties.Little Chance Of success : Whistle blowing is not
justified incase it is uncertain that it will prevent the
Advantages An insider has first-hand information compare to an
external investigative agency. He may, therefore, be able to supply
clinching evidence for pinning down the guilty.An insider may give
early warning signals which may help abort corruption.Protecting
whistle blower may deter corrupt behavior by others.Making whistle
blowing official and acceptable would obviate anonymous petitioning
and unauthorized leaks to the media.
ProblemsIn an organization, whistle blowing breaks the unwritten
code of silence, which expects every employee to be loyal to the
others.Officially encouraged whistle blowing may discourage corrupt
behavior which will also discourage initiative and the willingness
to take bold and quick decisions.In the present politically and
morally vitiated administrative environment, is there not a risk of
whistle blowing being used to blackmail colleagues or even
bosses.After the whistle blowing case has been justified, the
honest whistle blowers has to face the mental agony.
Creating A Whistle Blowing Culture Formulate a policy : A clear
cut policy reflecting commitment to ethical conduct must be
developed.Publicize the policy : The policy should be given wide
publicity through memos, newsletters, annual reports, etc.Top
management support : The top executives must fully support the
culture of honesty, truth, openness. Investigating and follow-up :
All the allegations must be promptly investigated and appropriate
follow up must be taken.
Cases of whistle blowing in India CASE 1:One of the early cases
of whistle blowing in India is when Feroz Gandhi disclosed the
Mundhra Scam in Life Insurance Corporation of India(LIC). The
irregularity was highlighted in 1958. Nehru, as the leader of the
ruling Congress party, wished to have the LIC matter handled
quietly since it might show the government in a poor light.
Whistle Blower PolicyWhistle blower policy is a document that
contains a companys commitment to whistle blowing. It provides
guideline about the process and procedures to be followed by the
whistle blowers, the protection available to them and the actions
the company proposes to take on the disclosures made by whistle
Need of Whistle Blower PolicySeveral corporate frauds have come
to light through whistle blowing. Therefore, a formal policy on
whistle blowing is useful mechanism for uncovering misbehavior on
the part of employees. It prevents blowing up of misdoings. It
helps to reduce corporate loses due to theft, violations of rules
and regulations and other unethical practices.
Contents of Whistle Blower PolicyCoverage : A whistle Blower
Policy covers individuals within the organization as well as
outsiders who conduct business with it.Process : The policy
describes the steps which whistle blowers are expected to take in
filling their claims. It may require whistle blower to direct their
claims to a specified person.Confidentiality : The identity od the
whistle blower is kept secret. Confidentiality is essential so that
whistle blower feel secure and comfortable.
Its applicabilityWhistle Blower Policy applies to all the
permanentemployees of the company. This policy is formulated to
provide opportunities to employees to access in good faith in case
they observe improper practices in the company.