Whistleblowing Case Study

• The official definition of the term whistleblowing is ‘making a disclosure in public interest.’ In the business world it refers to a party being aware of wrong doings in the workplace (usually referring to upper management being aware of criminal activity, and choosing to take no action). The government have made an active effort to help promote the concept of whistleblowing, and report criminal acts of their company. If the correct procedure is adhered to here, the employer rights are protected, i.e. your employer cannot victimise you.

The key criteria to create an effective corporate whistleblower hotline, is to ensure the employers are properly protected against as many possible lash back from whistleblowing. This is the major deterrent to whistle blowing, as although law states employee rights are protected, sometimes it is ambiguous in trying to prove that an employee is being victimised, in which case, the employee rights would be rendered useless. The obvious remedy to this dilemma is to assure employee confidentiality, but again potentially this can cause problems, as if court procedures happen, then the employee in question may need to get involved in such a situation.
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This is the exact procedure Cynthia Cooper followed, where she approached her immediate manager in the form of a boardroom meeting, where she aired her concerns about shuffling reserves to manipulate profit figures. The next step in creating effective whistleblowing is it to take the issue to higher authority if the immediate manager brushes the situation off, which again Cynthia did, in that she took the matter up with the new external auditors …show more content…
The ethical principles consist of six principles which are relevant in whistleblowing, as being an employee who is aware of malpractice, continuing to brush this malpractice under the carpet would contravene the ethical principles. First of the ethical principles is that of responsibility; professionals should exercise sensitive and moral judgements, evidently, committing such fraud to the extent WorldCom defies the definition of morality. Secondly, the public interest; employees should be aware of the obligation to act in a manner that would honour the public; this would mean exonerating any falsities that lie within the company, that they are aware of. Third is the concept of integrity; all responsibilities should be carried out with integrity to maintain public confidence, again, the fraud committed by WorldCom would be falsely gaining public confidence, thus not operating with integrity. Objectivity and Independency is a further ethical principle; members should be objective, independent and free of conflicts of interest. These are the most relevant principles to whistleblowing, as they all revolve a central thesis of trying to keep relations with the public as good and open as possible. By shuffling the reserves on the balance sheet to come up as assets, the

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