The Evolution of Whistleblowing Studies: A Critical Review and Research Agenda

Journal of Business Ethics 146 (4):787-803 (2017)
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Abstract

Whistleblowing is a controversial yet socially significant topic of interest due to its impact on employees, organizations, and society at large. The purpose of this paper is to integrate knowledge of whistleblowing with theoretical advancements in the broader domain of business ethics to propose a novel approach to research and practice engaged in this complex phenomenon. The paper offers a conceptual framework, i.e., the wheel of whistleblowing, that is developed to portray the different features of whistleblowing by applying the whistleblower’s perspective. The framework is based on five “W” questions: Who, What, hoW, Why, and to Whom? The answers to the proposed questions clarify the main aspects of whistleblowing, provide insights into existing studies of the subject, and identify relevant gaps in the literature which, in turn, offer opportunities for future research.

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