1 Norwegian Police University College, Department of Post Graduate Studies, Oslo, Norway, Department of Education and Department of Psychosocial Science, Faculty of Psychology, University of Bergen, Norway
2 Department of Work and Organizational Psychology, Adam Mickiewicz University, Poznan, Poland
The stigma of reporting wrongdoing at work: When doing right is perceived as wrong
The act of reporting unethical, illegal and illegitimate practices at work, whistleblowing, can be associated with a stigma for the individual in question (Banja, 1985). This article presents the stigmatizing position of reporting wrongdoing at work, types of wrongdoing and individual antecedents. Since empirical studies have shown very few systematic results regarding individual differences, one way to decrease societal stigma can be to relate the act of reporting to other known acts that are perceived upon as more positive within society. We therefore also discuss similarities and differences between the idea of whistleblowing and other concepts such as Organizational Citizenship Behaviour (OCB), in-role, and extra-role behaviour before we make some concluding remarks.
Argyris, C., & Schön, D. A. (1978). Organizational learning: A theory of action perspective. Reading, Mass: Addison-Wesley.
Argyris, C., & Schön, D. A. (1996). Organizational learning II: theory, method, and practice. Reading, Mass.: Addison-Wesley.
Barnard, C. I. (1938). The functions of the executive. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.
Beardshaw, V. (1981). Conscientious objectors at work. London: Social Audit Limited.
Bjørkelo, B. (2010). Whistleblowing at work: Antecedents and consequences: PhD. University of Bergen.
Bjørkelo, B., Einarsen, S., Nielsen, M. B., & Matthiesen, S. B. (2011). Silence is golden? Characteristics and experiences of self-reported whistleblowers. European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, 20, 206-238. doi: 10.1080/13594320903338884
Bjørkelo, B., Matthiesen, S. B., & Einarsen, S. (2010). Predicting proactive behaviour at work. Exploring the role of personality as an antecedent of whistleblowing behaviour. Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, 83, 371-394. doi: 10.1348/096317910X486385
Bjørkelo, B., Ryberg, W., Matthiesen, S. B., & Einarsen, S. (2008). "When you talk and talk and nobody listens": A mixed method case study of whistleblowing and its consequences. International Journal of Organisational Behaviour, 13, 18-40.
Bjørkelo, B., & Taraldset, B. (2010). Varsling som intern sikkerhetsventil i større IKT-prosjekt: Om organisasjonens rolle i håndtering av operasjonell risiko [Whistleblowing as internal safety valve in big ICT-projects: About the organisations role in dealing with operational risk]. Magma, 13, 27-34.
Blenkinsopp, J., & Edwards, M. S. (2008). On not blowing the whistle: Quiescent silence as an emotion episode. In W. J. Zerbe, N. M. Ashkanasy & C. E. J. Härtel (Eds.), Research on emotion in organizations: Emotions, ethics and decision-making (Vol. 4, pp. 181-206). London: Emerald/JAI.
Bok, S. (1981). Blowing the whistle. In J. L. Fleishman, L. Liebman & M. H. Moore (Eds.), Public duties: the moral obligations of government officials (pp. 204-220). Cambridge: Harvard University Press.
Faulkner, S. L. (1998). After the whistle is blown: The aversive impact of ostracism. PhD. University of Toledo.
Ferree, M. M., & Smith, E. R. (1979). A cognitive approach to social and individual stigma. The Journal of Social Psychology, 109, 87-97.
Gellert, D. (1981). Insisting on safety in the skies. In A. F. Westin (Ed.), Whistle blowing!: Loyalty and dissent in the corporation (pp. 17-30). New York: McGraw-Hill.
Glazer, M. (1983). Ten whistleblowers and how they fared. The Hastings Center Report, December 1983, 33-41.
Goffman, E. (1963/1990). Stigma. Prentice-Hall Inc.: Penguin.
Graham, J. W. (1986). Principled organizational dissent: A theoretical essay. Research in Organizational Behavior, 8, 1-52.
Grant, A. M., & Ashford, S. J. (2008). The dynamics of proactivity at work. Research in Organizational Behavior, 28, 3-34. doi: 10.1016/j.riob.2008.04.002
Hersh, M. A. (2002). Whistleblowers - heroes or traitors? Individual and collective responsibility for ethical behaviour. Annual Reviews in Control, 26, 243-262. doi: 10.1016/S1367-5788(02)00025-1
Jones, J. (2002). Give a little whistle: The need for a more broad interpretation of the whistleblower exception to the employement-at-will doctrine. Texas Tech Law Review, 34, 1133-1164.
Kahn, R. L. (1964). Organizational stress: Studies in role conflict and ambiguity. New York: Wiley & Sons.
Knapp, D. E., Faley, R. H., Ekeberg, S. E., & Dubois, C. L. Z. (1997). Determinants of target responses to sexual harassment: A conceptual framework. Academy of Management Review, 22, 687-729. doi: 10.2307/259410
Lewis, D. (2010). A global approch to Public Interest Disclosure. What can we learn from existing whistleblowing legislation and research? Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar.
Macko, M. (2009). Poczucie sprawiedliwości organizacyjnej a zachowania pracowników [Organizational fairness and work behaviors]. Poznan: Adam Mickiewicz University.
MacNamara, D. E. J. (1991). The victimization of whistle-blowers in the public and private sectors. In R. J. Kelly & D. E. J. MacNamara (Eds.), Perspectives on deviance. Dominance, degradation and denigration (pp. 121-134). Cincinnati: Anderson Publishing Co.
Mansbach, A. (2007). Political surplus of whistleblowing: A case study. Business Ethics: A European Review, 16, 124-131. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8608.2007.00483.x
Mansbach, A., & Bachner, Y. (2009). Self-reported likelihood of whistleblowing by social work students. Social Work Education, 28(1), 18-28. doi: 10.1080/02615470701770792
Manstead, A. S. R., Hewstone, M., Fiske, S. T., Hogg, M. A., Reis, H. T., & Semin, G. R. (1996). The Blackwell encyclopedia of social psychology.
Markóczy, L., Vora, D., & Xin, K. (2009). Forbearance in organizational citizenship behaviour. The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 20, 321-347. doi: 10.1080/09585190802670706
Mathews, M. C. (1987). Codes of ethics: Organizational behavior and misbehavior. In W. C. Frederick (Ed.), Research in corporate social performance and policy: a research annual (Vol. 9, pp. 107-130). Greenwich, Conn.: JAI Press.
McCutcheon, L. E. (2000). Is there a "whistleblower" personality? Psychology: A Journal of Human Behavior, 37, 2-9.
McLain, D. L., & Keenan, J. P. (1999). Risk, information, and the decision about response to wrongdoing in an organization. Journal of Business Ethics, 19(3), 225-271.
Mesmer-Magnus, J. R., & Viswesvaran, C. (2005). Whistleblowing in organizations: An examination of correlates of whistleblowing intentions, actions, and retaliation. Journal of Business Ethics, 62, 266-297.
Miceli, M. P., & Near, J. P. (1992). Blowing the whistle: The organizational and legal implications for companies and employees. New York: Lexington Books.
Miceli, M. P., & Near, J. P. (2005). Whistle-blowing and positive psychology. In C. Dunn, R. A. Giacalone & C. L. Jurkiewicz (Eds.), Positive Psychology in Business Ethics and Corporate Responsibility (pp. 85-102). Greenwich, Conn: Information Age Publishing.
Miceli, M. P., & Near, J. P. (2010). When do observers of organizational wrongdoing step up? Recent US research on the factors associated with whistleblowing. In D. Lewis (Ed.), A global approch to Public Interest Disclosure. What can we learn from existing whistleblowing legislation and research? (pp. 74-90). Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar.
Miceli, M. P., Near, J. P., & Dworkin, T. M. (2008). Whistle-blowing in organizations. New York: Routledge, Taylor & Francis Group.
Miceli, M. P., Near, J. P., & Schwenk, C. R. (1991). Who blows the whistle and why. Industrial and Labor Relations Review, 45, 113-130.
Miethe, T. D. (1999). Whistleblowing at work. Tough choices in exposing fraud, waste, and abuse on the job. Colorado: Westview Press.
Miethe, T. D., & Rothschild, J. (1994). Whistleblowing and the control of organizational misconduct. Sociological Inquiry, 64, 322-347.
Morrison, E. W., & Milliken, F. J. (2000). Organizational silence: a barrier to change and development in a pluralistic world. Academy of Management Review, 25(4), 706-725.
Near, J. P., & Miceli, M. P. (1985). Organizational dissidence: The case of whistle-blowing. Journal of Business Ethics, 4, 1-16.
Near, J. P., & Miceli, M. P. (1996). Whistle-blowing: Myth and reality. Journal of Management, 22, 507-526.
O'Day, R. (1974). Intimidation rituals: Reactions to reform. Journal of Applied Behavioral Science, 10, 373-386.
Organ, D. W. (1988). Organizational citizenship behavior: The good soldier syndrome. Lexington, Mass.: Lexington Books.
Prenzler, T. (2009). Police corruption: Preventing misconduct and maintaining integrity. Boca Raton: CRC Press.
Rioux, S. M., & Penner, L. A. (2001). The causes of organizational citizenship behavior: A motivational analysis. Journal of Applied Psychology, 86, 1306-1314.
Rosecrance, J. (1988). Whistleblowing in probation departments. Journal of Criminal Justice, 16, 99-109.
Rost, P. (2006). Whistle Blower: Confessions of a healthcare hitman. New York: Soft Skull Press.
Rothschild, J., & Miethe, T. D. (1999). Whistle-blower disclosures and management retaliation. The battle to control information about organization corruption. Work & Occupations, 26, 107-128.
Rothwell, G. R., & Baldwin, J. N. (2007). Whistle-blowing and the code of silence in police agencies: policy and structural predictors. Crime & Delinquency, 53, 605-632. doi: 10.1177/0011128706295048
Schein, E. H. (1992). Organizational culture and leadership (2nd ed.). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Soeken, D. R. (1986). J' Accuse. Psychology Today, 20, 44-46.
Strack, G. (2011). Whistleblowing in Germany. In M. Arszulowicz & W. Gasparski (Eds.), Whistleblowing: In defense of proper action (pp. 109-124). New Brunswick: Transaction Publishers.
Uys, T. (2008). Rational loyalty and whistleblowing: The South African Context. Current Sociology, 56, 904-921.
Van Dyne, L., Cummings, L. L., & Parks, J. M. (1995). Extra-role behaviours: In pursuit of construct and definitional clarity (a bridge over muddied waters). In L. L. Cummings & B. M. Staw (Eds.), Research in organizational behavior (Vol. 17, pp. 215-285). Greenwich, CT: JAI Press.
van Heugten, K. (2009). Bullying of social workers: Outcomes of a grounded study into impacts and interventions. British Journal of Social Work, 40, 638-655.