Sadat (IT) Academy

Dr. Gary H. Jones




Under What Conditions is Whistleblowing Morally Justified?
[Employee reporting of company illegal or unethical behavior]

1.  When the firm (through a product or a policy) will commit serious and considerable harm to the public
2.  When the employee identifies a serious threat of public harm
3.  When the employee's supervisor does not act to prevent the harm

Additional considerations before "blowing the whistle""

First, unless the employee is reasonably certain that the company will not act on his or her concerns, the employee should report the unethical behavior through internal company channels.

Second, the employee should have documented evidence of the unethical behavior that would be convincing to a reasonable, impartial observer (like a judge, for example)

Third, the employee must have good reason to believe that a change for the better will occur as a result of his or her whistleblowing.  The chance of succeeding must be equal to the risk (the risk of getting fired, for example)

Company Steps to Prevent the Need for Employee Whistleblowing

1.  Develop effective internal grievance (complaint) procedures.
2.  Reward people for using these channels (better to fix a problem internally than to go to court)
3.  Appoint senior executives whos responsibility it is to investigate and correct reports of wrongdoing.
4.  Assess large fines, internally, on executives who commit illegal actions.   And / or fire such executives.