Essays on External Whistle-Blowing as an Issue in Management Ethics Term Paper

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The paper 'External Whistle-Blowing as an Issue in Management Ethics' is a great example of a business term paper. Management of organizations entails setting up ethical standards that both management and employees must adhere to create a sense of decorum within the organization as well as set a standard of mutual respect. BNET Business Directory defined ethics in business also known as morality in business as a “ system of moral principles applied in the commercial world” . It further said that “ business ethics provide guidelines for acceptable behavior by organizations in both their strategy formulation and day-to-day operations”   Loyalty is one of the basic tenets of business or corporate ethics.

The concept of whistleblowing raises the issue of loyalty for the organization. However, such loyalty is questioned when the whistleblower refers to the misconducts within the organization to outside entities such as the government, media, or other independent parties. This essay discusses external whistleblowing as an issue in management ethics. The following are the specific objectives of this essay: To discuss the concept of whistleblowing, particularly external whistleblowing, in organizational ethics. Any reference to whistleblowing in the foregoing discussion refers to external whistleblowing unless otherwise stated. To discuss the advantages and disadvantages of external whistleblowing to the whistleblower and his employer. To cite examples in discussing the advantages and disadvantages of external whistleblowing. Limitation of Scope of Discussion Discussions on the essay are limited to sources found in journal articles in print and online.

Further, the discussion is limited to external whistleblowing in the business sector. It also uses some general insights on external whistleblowing from the public sector to support the discussion related to the issue of external whistleblowing in the business sector. A commentator noted whistleblowing as the situation where the whistleblower discloses illegal, immoral, or illegitimate actions of their employers to a person or organization that can help him correct such action and provide an effective solution (Miceli and Near, 1985 cited in Appelbaum, Kirandeep, Mousseau, 2006:7).

It acts as an alarm within an organization to highlight abuses that threatens the interest of the public (Bok, 1980 cited in Beauchamp and Bowie, 1993: 305). External whistleblowing, then, is the disclosure of unethical practices within an organization by current or former employees to a person, group of persons, or an organization that is not directly related or connected to the organization where unethical practices happened.

It is actually the form of whistleblowing that generates much controversy than internal whistleblowing. The latter limits the report of unethical acts within the organization, thus, avoiding public scandal, particularly for high profile companies. Whistleblowing basically involves unauthorized disclosure of company information. It means that the disclosure of information did not go through the standard channel of complaint outlined by business organizations in its company rules and regulations (Bakman, F., 2004). As a Controversial Issue Appelbaum, et al noted that “ the main reason why whistleblowing is such an important issue is that it has to do with the fact that many public and corporate wrongdoings are never disclosed” (2006:7).

The consequences of disclosing such wrongdoings might be detrimental to the operations of businesses and impact on various people and organizations directly or indirectly reliant on its operations. Thus, the organization itself and the public perceive external whistleblowing, in particular, differently.

References

Beauchamp, T, & Bowie, N. 1993. Ethical Theory and Business. New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, Inc.

BNET Business Dictionary. Business Definition for: Business Ethics http://dictionary.bnet.com/definition/business+ethics.html

Chapter 6: The duty of Loyalty Versus the Duty to Inform. Report of the Review and Implementation Committee for the Report of the Manitoba Pediatric Cardiac Surgery Inquest. http://www.gov.mb.ca/health/documents/cardiac/07prc6.pdf 05 May

Bakman, F. 2004. The Management of Whistleblowing in the Financial Sector, Chapter 2: Whistleblowing and How It Can Become the Management of Confidential Reporting System. Electronic Theses and Dissertation Database. University of Johannesburg. http://etd.rau.ac.za/theses/available/etd-09012004-101646/restricted/chapter2.pdf, 09 May.

Explaining the Enron Bankruptcy. CNN.com/US. http://archives.cnn.com/2002/US/01/12/enron.qanda.focus, 09 May.

Lilanthi Ravishankar; Encouraging Internal Whistleblowing in Organizations; Markula Center for Applied Ethics. Santa Clara University, http://www/scu.edu/ethics/publications/submitted/whistleblowing.html, 03 May.

OSHA FACTSHEET: Your Rights as a Whistleblower. http://www.osha.gov/OshDoc/data_General_Facts/whistleblower_rights.pdf 09 May

Wright, J.; Looking Back a Personal Analysis of Whistleblowing. Sydney, December 2005. http://www.uow.edu.au/arts/sts/bmartin/dissent/documents/Wright/Wright05.pdf, 09 May.

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