This idea, based on Deontology, unequivocally affirms the obligation of professionals to call attention to wrongdoing in certain circumstances. By extension, we believe in the rewarding of whistleblowers as long as the circumstances merit their coming forward in the first place. Under this theory, whistleblowing is an obligation when five conditions are met. They are as follows: 1. “Serious and considerable harm to the public” is involved. 2. One reports the harm and expresses moral concern to one’s immediate supervisor. 3.
One exhausts other channels within the organization. 4. One has available “documented evidence that would convince a reasonable, impartial observer that one’s view of the situation is correct”. 5. One has “good reasons to believe that by going public the necessary changes will be brought about” to prevent the harm. 3 Exceptions Our team wholeheartedly believes in rewarding whistleblowers. However, whistleblowers should only be rewarded if they come forward in the appropriate manner. Whistleblowers should not be rewarded in the following types of situations:
Human Rights Protection: People should not be rewarded when they blow the whistle on an organization that is protecting someone’s human rights. For instance, alerting the authorities to organizations that were hiding Jews in Nazi Germany, although in accordance with the law, would not be an ethical action. This action ultimately brings more suffering, tragedy, pain, and harm to the society than any benefit. No Attempt to Solve Problem Internally: As mentioned earlier, in order for whistleblowing to be considered appropriate the whistleblower must have tried to resolve the issue internally before alerting the public or authorities.
This allows the whistleblower the opportunity to clear up any misunderstandings, and it allows the organization to respond using internal procedures. Lack of First-Hand Knowledge of Misdeed: It is extremely important for whistleblowers to have first-hand knowledge of the allegations they are making, meaning they actually observed the misconduct. It is not appropriate to blow the whistle based on gossip or rumor alone. Rewarding Whistleblowers While whistleblowers should be rewarded, these rewards need not always be monetary. We would like to see non-monetary rewards utilized in addition to or in lieu of monetary rewards.
Perpetuating large monetary rewards may encourage people to blow the whistle inappropriately. Non-monetary rewards, however, can give whistleblowers the recognition and support they deserve without encouraging abuse. Examples of non-monetary rewards that can be used are formal recognition within the organization, the community or via the media, and enhancement of job benefits. Assuming the whistleblowing was appropriate, meaning it didn’t fall within any of our exception categories, whistleblowers should be held up as an example in organizations and communities.
This would not only serve as an intrinsic reward to the whistleblower, but also as an illustration of the values the organization or community chooses to embrace. Conclusion Whistleblowing clearly benefits society, yet “almost all [whistleblowers] say they would not do it again. “4 It is important for us as a society to reward whistleblowing in our organizations and communities in order to create an environment in which people feel comfortable reporting wrongdoing. Eventually, this will help to improve compliance with legal and ethical standards within organizations.
Dwyer, Paula and Dan Carney. “Year of the Whistleblower: The personal costs are high, but a new law protects truth-tellers as never before. ” Business Week 16 Dec. 2002. Irvine, Reed. “President Bush Should Reward Whistle-blowers. ” Insight on the News 26 Mar. 2001. Lacayo, Richard and Amanda Ripley. “Persons of the Year. ” Time 30 Dec. 2002: 30-60. Three Approaches to Whistleblowing Ethics. Santa Clara University. http://codesign. scu. edu/505/set01/003/3Approaches. htm. 1 http://codesign. scu. edu/505/set01/003/3Approaches. htm 2 Ibid. 3 Ibid. 4 “Persons of the Year. “