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Free Term Papers On Whistleblowing

"Whistle Blowing" In "Survival Tips for Whistleblowers", a handbook printed under the auspices of the federal Government Accountability Project (GAP), whistleblowing is defined as "disclosing information that an employee reasonably believes is evidence of illegality, gross waste, gross mismanagement, abuse of power, or substantial and specific danger to public health or safety."Imagine you have recently been hired by a Fortune 500 company to work in the accounting department. While working late one night, you overhear two senior vice presidents talking loudly and drinking in one of the executive's offices. They are telling sexist and racist jokes, making obscene and ugly remarks about other employees and generally behaving like two adolescents on a binge. What would you do?Imagine you are a safety engineer at a nuclear disposal site and a proposal is about to be implemented to move some highly radioactive material. You are aware of some technicalities that make this move extremely dangerous both to the public and the environment. You have voiced these concerns to your superiors and they are being dismissed as "alarmist" views. What do you do?Imagine you are a teacher in a vocational education program at a local junior college You find out through the "grapevine" that the coordinator of the program is turning in fraudulent time cards for himself for teaching classes he did not teach and has managed to steal almost $20,000 thus far. In addition, you are provided with copies of these fraudulent documents by a fellow teacher who has a "friend" in the office where the records are kept. What would you do?Every day, thousands of Americans witness unethical behavior on the job. Sometimes these occurrences simply offend, although deeply, other times humans and ecosystems are in great danger, and sometimes serious illegal activities come to light. The decision to blow the whistle is an intensely personal one and motives run the gamut from the most altruistic to the most self serving of the vengeful, disgruntled employee.In our culture mixed messages about what is right are constantly sent and are difficult to decipher. On the one hand we denigrate the prying busybodies, the cynical troublemakers and naysayers, the squealers and tattletales. At the same time we also hold in contempt and condemn just as strongly the "see no evil, hear no evil" attitude of those who don't want to get involved and look the other way claiming to see nothing when something wrong happens. We simultaneously fight for the "individual's right to privacy" and the "public's right to know."

Before you blow the whistle make sure you understand the personal and professional implications and potential risks you will encounter. Make no mistake, whistleblowers pay an enormous personal and professional price for their actions. Academic studies confirm that over 90% of all whistleblowers report subsequent retaliation and it is not uncommon for whistleblowers to be harassed, socially ostracized, demoted, or even fired. Your best friend and fellow employees may turn against you even if your actions are in their best interests. Inadequate legal protection is also a factor. All too often workers find out too late that rights exist on paper only when facing an unsympathetic judge. The emotional, mental, financial and professional price paid is enormous.Most employees remain silent when they witness misconduct, wrongdoing, or even egregious illegal activity. To what extent is the silent employee in complicity and if they have evidence of illegal or dangerous activities and do not speak out should they bear some of the guilt? Might they even be held criminally liable? Whistleblowing is a thorny ethical question and deep soul searching is a prerequisite for survival. A set of questions from the GAP handbook may help potential whistleblowers decide whether or not to proceed. + Is the wrongdoing at issue substantial enough to warrant the risks of reprisal and the investment of human and financial resources to expose it?+ Are your allegations reasonable and can they be proven?+ Can you make a difference in resolving the wrongdoing if you blow the whistle, or will you be beating your head against the bureaucratic wall? Before blowing the whistle one must realize that although it can be one of the most spiritually enriching experiences of your life to do the right thing and you may save lives or billions of dollars, you should be informed, face, and accept the heavy risks that come with trying to expose or challenge an established power structure before you start to suffer the consequences.So I'll ask again. What would you do?


The origin of the term whistle blowing is uncertain. It may refer to English policemen blowing whistles to alert others to an illegal act or to sports referees stopping a game due to a rule infraction. The term began to be used in a way relevant to science, technology, and ethics in the 1960s and became part of the common vocabulary as a result of Ralph Nader's investigative activities during the 1970s. The American Heritage Dictionary defines a whistleblower as "one who reveals wrongdoing within an organization to the public or to those in positions of authority," but a more detailed analysis of the term is appropriate.

Based on the above definition, it is possible to distinguish between internal and external whistle blowing. Internal whistle blowing occurs when the hierarchical chain of command within an organization is violated, so that one's immediate superiors are bypassed, perhaps because they have refused to act or are themselves involved in the wrongdoing. The whistle blowing is internal, however, because it stays within the organization. External whistle blowing refers to going outside the organization, possibly to a regulatory agency, the press, or directly to the public

For example, Daniel Ellsberg is the most famous whistle blower in United States history because he was the one who leaked the Pentagon Papers setting in motion actions that would eventually topple the Nixon presidency and end the Vietnam War. These papers basically showed the American people had been deceived about Vietnam and that there was corruption in the government which shortened the Nixon presidency and help end the Vietnam War. If it hadn't done that the war would have probably gone on a lot longer and would have caused the loss of many more lives for pointless reasons. This is a good example of why it is important to whistle blow because after Daniel Ellsberg whistle blew the public support of the war eroded causing the war to come to a pre mature end. (Wartergate/info.com)

Whistle blowing is turning out to be very important in the world at large. This is because the amount of corruption in the world today. If people don't whistle blow when there is a violation of the law or fraudulent act then there is little chance of the world as a whole moving forward and things getting better in places such as Africa.

It will be hard to wipe out corruption in the world, but at least with whistle blowing we can minimise it and help bring it out to an all time low. By blowing the whistle on acts such as racism, and corruption people rights will be looked at and maintained. Sexual harassment on the part of women and money paid as bribe to get better job positions will be reduced through people blowing the whistle. The health and safety of employees will be enhanced through whistleblowers. An example is in the manufacturing industry, when a company's secret becomes known to the general public. It will go a long way to take necessary precautions in producing the products and improve quality.



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