The Effects of Contextual and Wrongdoing Attributes on Organizational Employees' Whistleblowing Intentions Following Fraud

Journal of Business Ethics 106 (2):213-227 (2012)
Recent financial fraud legislation such as the Dodd–Frank Act and the Sarbanes–Oxley Act (U.S. House of Representatives, Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010, [H.R. 4173], 2010 ; U.S. House of Representatives, The Sarbanes–Oxley Act of 2002, Public Law 107-204 [H.R. 3763], 2002 ) relies heavily on whistleblowers for enforcement, and offers protection and incentives for whistleblowers. However, little is known about many aspects of the whistleblowing decision, especially the effects of contextual and wrongdoing attributes on organizational members’ willingness to report fraud. We extend the ethics literature by experimentally investigating how the nature of the wrongdoing and the awareness of those surrounding the whistleblower can influence whistleblowing. As predicted, we find that employees are less likely to report: (1) financial statement fraud than theft; (2) immaterial than material financial statement fraud; (3) when the wrongdoer is aware that the potential whistleblower has knowledge of the fraud; and (4) when others in addition to the wrongdoer are not aware of the fraud. Our findings extend whistleblowing research in several ways. For instance, prior research provides little evidence concerning the effects of fraud type, wrongdoer awareness, and others’ awareness on whistleblowing intentions. We also provide evidence that whistleblowing settings represent an exception to the well-accepted theory of diffusion of responsibility. Our participants are professionals who represent the likely pool of potential whistleblowers in organizations.
Keywords Context  Diffusion of responsibility  Fraud  Fraud type  Whistleblowing
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1007/s10551-011-0990-y
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 21,305
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

View all 7 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

View all 6 citations / Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Joan E. Sieber (1998). The Psychology of Whistleblowing. Science and Engineering Ethics 4 (1):7-23.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

29 ( #140,087 of 1,911,080 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

3 ( #252,428 of 1,911,080 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.