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Whistle Blowing, Essay Example

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Essay

Whistle blowing refers to revealing wrongdoing within an organization to the public or those in positions of authority (The Free Dictionary). Business ethics exist to ensure an environment of trust between the business and various stakeholders. Business ethics can be defined as the study of proper business policies and practices regarding potentially controversial issues such as corporate governance, insider trading, bribery, discrimination, corporate social responsibility, and fiduciary responsibilities (Investopedia). Whistle blowing is important to the study of business ethics because it helps minimize costs to the business stakeholders as a result of unethical conduct within the business and may also encourage ethical conduct due to higher probability of being caught otherwise.

There are several reasons an employee may refrain from potentially unethical behavior within his/her organization. One may be the organizational culture that puts a huge emphasis on ethical conduct and makes it clear to the employees that unethical conduct would not be tolerated at any cost. Another reason may be a comprehensive system of checks and balances that would make it difficult to engage in an unethical conduct and escape detection (Brookins). The employees would also be discouraged from engaging in unethical conduct if there are laws that impose severe penalties and violators are regularly punished.

A corporation should establish an ethics hotline. One of the benefits will be decline in unethical behavior since the probability of being caught will increase. Another benefit will be greater willingness of employees to report unethical conduct because anonymity will prevent retaliation. The disadvantage will be cost since some organization resources will be utilized in operating the hotline and carrying out investigations. Another disadvantage may be the potential misuse of the system as some would provide wrong tips to get back at their opponents. Frequent misuse will only decrease the management’s trust in the hotline.

References

Brookins, M. (n.d.). Ways to Prevent Unethical Behavior in the Workplace. Retrieved November 29, 2012, from http://smallbusiness.chron.com/ways-prevent-unethical-behavior-workplace-21344.html

Investopedia. (n.d.). Business Ethics. Retrieved November 29, 2012, from http://www.investopedia.com/terms/b/business-ethics.asp#axzz2DgDFDA2H

The Free Dictionary. (n.d.). Whistle-blower. Retrieved November 29, 2012, from http://www.thefreedictionary.com/whistle-blowing

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