Whistle blowing

Published 11 May 2017

Whistle blowing is becoming more and more common in the workplaces. The reason is because of many unethical and immoral practices that are within the workplaces. The intentions for whistle blowing are both positive and negative, but mostly whistle blowers do it because a situation raises concern and serious measures need to be taken against it. Whistle blowing has become very effective in revealing immoralities and behaviors that pose danger to the employees at the workplace. (Hunt, 1995) However, it is usually done in private and public organizations and especially if the management denies the employees freedom of expression or if their grievances are not looked into immediately. Therefore whistle blowers do this to coerce the government or the senior managers to address issues that interfere with the well being of the employees. Most whistle blowers are those employees in junior positions who usually are not in a position to access senior authority. (Hunt, 1995)

Pros and Cons of Whistle blowing

There are various advantages and disadvantages of whistle blowing. One of the advantages of whistle blowing is that it exposes an organization which poses health risks to its employees in terms of conducive working environment. The whistle blower protects the rights of employees if for instance he/she secretly reports the management to Human Rights commission, and actions are taken against the management of such an organization. (Hunt, 1995) The industrial and labor requirements may be employed to improve the situation and thus better the working conditions of the workers. (Hunt, 1995)Another advantage of whistle blowing is that it compels the companies and major corporations to comply with rules and regulations that champion the rights of employees. Whistle blowing, is more common if the information being revealed has to do with immorality. For example, bosses who demand sexual favors from their female employees and in the event they refuse they threaten them with a sack. This trend is warring and whistle blowing ha come to save the situation. (Hunt, 1995)

Bosses nowadays fear engaging in morally or unethically acceptable behavior. Whistle blowing has minimized oppression against the employees for example overworking them, and violence in the workplace. Whistle blowing is also believed to be the most effective way of airing a problem that is raising serious concern for the employees and the degree of the whistle blower being taken seriously is also high. (Hunt, 1995)

Whistle blowing however, has its own disadvantages. For instance it becomes hard to differentiate a whistle blower and a gossip. Many employees actually engage in gossip thinking that actually they are raising moral and ethical concerns. As a result if such information is not disseminated well to the senior authorities, the whistle blower may be assumed to be spreading malicious gossip with an intention of revenging. (Hunt, 1995) There is normally no way of knowing whether the whistle blower is telling the truth or not if there is no tangible evidence to support his concerns. Another challenge of whistle blowing is that the person whistle blowing must be a professional and should not be tainted so that he/she can be believed by the authority. In addition a person can be prosecuted by the corporation or the company that he or she is working for, if they are able to prove that he/she has divulged information believed to be confidential and that he failed to compliy with the rules and regulations of the company.

It is hard to determine whether the information that has been given out has serious moral and ethical concerns. In some cases, the authority is not able to determine whether the information given to them should be acted on or not because they fear that they might be interfering with the operations of the organization. (Hunt, 1995) Whistle blowing has an effect of creating tension at the workplace and it thus might interfere with the employees’ performance. Too much care is exercised which instills anxiety among the employees. If a boss senses that his actions are likely to be reported to the senior authority, he/she may resign and the burden left may fall on unsuspecting colleagues. (Hunt, 1995)

A whistle blower is likely to be isolated at the workplace if he/she discovered. People might fear that they will be reported for almost all mistakes they make. The person is viewed as a gossip and therefore may lack friends at the workplace. This is because he/she cannot be trusted with any type of information. Whistle blowers may report incidents to the wrong person and thus the information is likely to be used against them. The information is likely to be twisted and distorted and thus it may not achieve the intended goal. However, rules are being put in place to protect the claims of whistle blowers. (Hunt, 1995)

There are a number of companies worldwide who employ whistle blowing services provided by selected companies to enhance the effect of the reports. For example, there are special helpline services for whistle blowers. The major setback with helpline services is that someone may make a plank all and hide his/her identity and thus the information given out will be questionable and not based on facts and truth. The governments have been streamlining helpline services to increase their efficiency. (Hunt, 1995)


It is worth to note that employees and other people are more likely to blow the whistle today than they would have done seven years ago. Almost ten years ago whistle blowers were believed to be traitors and branded misfit. Nowadays, many people make calls or go personally to the organizations concerned. (Hunt, 1995)The people have come to realize that if they ignore and discourage whistle blowers, they will be doing it at their own peril. Most the issues being reported on are financial misconduct and safety risks. Both the issues constitute an average of thirty percent calls each. There has been double increase in issues and concerns related to double standards and trading. The care sector has also recorded the same number of calls. This trend has compelled many companies to clean their acts for fear of being exposes. However, the claims which are made are not released in full detailed before a decision is made. Efforts have been made to incorporate whistle blowing to become an important part of company’s risk management. Plans are also underway to ensure laws on whistle blowing and practice are put in place and enforced by the law. The act of whistle blowing is being given a totally different approach and laws are also being put in place to protect whistle blowers. (Hunt, 1995)


  • Hunt, G (1995). Whistleblowing In The Social Sevices: Public Accountability & Professional Practice. Arnold
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