Internal vs. External Whistleblowers: A Comparison of Whistleblowering Processes [Book Review]

Journal of Business Ethics 17 (12):1281 - 1298 (1998)

Abstract

We conduct quantitative and qualitative analysis of 33 cases of internal and external whistleblowers wrongfully fired for reporting wrongdoing. Our results show external whistleblowers have less tenure with the organization, greater evidence of wrongdoing, and they tend to be more effective in changing organizational practices. External whistleblowers also experience more extensive retaliation than internal whistleblowers, and patterns of retaliation by management against the whistleblower vary depending on whether the whistleblower reports internally or externally. We discuss implications for organizations and whistleblowers, and we conclude that researchers need to develop different theoretical explanations of internal and external whistleblowing processes

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