Making Sense of Whistle-Blowing's Antecedents

Business Ethics Quarterly 19 (4):553-586 (2009)
Despite a significant increase in whistle-blowing practices in work organizations, we know little about what differentiates whistle-blowers from those who observe a wrongdoing but chose not to report it. In this review article, we first highlight the arenas inwhich research on whistle-blowing has produced inconsistent results and those in which the findings have been consistent. Second, we propose that the adoption of an identity approach will help clarify the inconsistent findings and extend prior work on individual-level motives behind whistle-blowing. Third, we argue that the integration of the whistle-blowing research with that on ethics programs will aid in systematically expanding our understanding of the situational antecedents of whistle-blowing. We conclude our review by discussing new theoretical and methodological arenas of research in the domain of whistle-blowing
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