A Whistle Blower is someone who exposes unethical practices within an organization to superiors or to the Public.
Whistle Blowing can take place at different levels. It comes to unethical behaviour on the part of colleagues, then will turn to the Whistle Blower first of all, on the chain of command to the Manager to bring him the illegitimate or illegal conduct to the attention of. He can be reached in this way, no solution, or it is illegitimate and illegal conduct of the company’s management itself, then the only way remains to the outside, to the Public.
By the Whistle-Blower turns to the authorities or media, it creates public pressure that forces the company to Act.
As a precursor of the Whistle Blowing, the employee may also threaten first, just so that he will not turn to the Public, if the immoral practices stop. Both these threats, as well as the actual Rat can be anonymous or public. The anonymity protects the employee from the risk of reprisals on the part of the company, but no direct discussion of the Problem and generates a distrust atmosphere. Especially the secret Rat, the unpleasant smell of the Denunziantentums to be liable.
How is Whistle-Blowing rate?
In General, the evaluation of the Verpfeifens is very ambivalent. The Whistle-Blower is facing often serious conflicts of interest. His actions can shareholders the Share, the superiors and the colleagues massive damage. Indirectly possibly be harmed, suppliers, lenders and local communities, for example. if a company must close due to the Whistle Blowing.
On the other hand, by the illegitimate and illegal practices Damaged. Patients suffering from undisclosed side effects from medications, people who are killed in accidents due to security defects in products, customers, which were driven by the wrong advice in the Ruin, residents, the health damage caused by the environment suffer from pollution, etc.
Of the Public, the Whistle Blower often as the heroes celebrated. The concerned colleagues and superiors, the Whistle Blower, however, as a disloyal traitor and a denigrator. Since he can’t prove that he is from a certain decision, he seeks unfair motives such as jealousy, desire for revenge, or profiling. The sanctions range from social Ostracism up to and including termination. Even if the Whistle-Blower is legally protected from harassment and termination, as for example. since 1999, in England the case is, can make the colleagues in his life with a subtle repression is very difficult. It requires some moral courage, unethical practices.
Example: An employee goes in the EADS group, is suspected of massive kickbacks. For years he tried to make the Problem internally to address and resolve, also through the compliance Department, which has officially developed a catalogue of criteria for ethical and clean business practices, and widely used. However, all internal attempts at a solution fail. Finally, the employees threatened with a complaint to the Supervisory authority. The company’s response: He is warned that he should take good care of himself when he was alone on the road. He was in danger. The same is true for his family. The employee can, in the end, a Deal. He is committed to Silence and to Destroy all the evidence. Another employee at the company but then, in the case of the English Supervisory authority, so that everything is public.
This post is an excerpt from the new book on corporate ethics.
How can be implemented the business ethics as a Management responsibility? A stronger orientation of the corporate guide on the guiding principle of a life-serving economy is more and more demanded. Elisabeth Gödel discusses the philosophical foundations of ethics and clarifies the relationship of ethics and Economics. The focus is on the institutionalisation of ethics is on the level of the individual company.
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