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To Whistleblow or Not to Whistleblow

In: Social Issues

Submitted By jaykap94
Words 2100
Pages 9
Jay Kaplan
Business Law and Ethics
Professor Gaston de los Reyes
December 8, 2014

To Whistleblow or Not To Whistleblow?
Introduction
When an employee of, or group within, a company witnesses misconduct, there are two simple but very different paths that an employee or group can take: expose the issue in order to try and correct the situation or remain mum and let the issue continue to metastasize. It seems quite obvious what path is best and most noble to take; however, the idea that one should expose the truth in order to correct the situation can sometimes also be the quickest path to becoming the company outcast. Witnessing misconduct or alleged illegal or dishonest activity within an organization and exposing it, e.g. advising your superior, is known as whistleblowing. Even though these employees are usually doing it out of the best interest of their company, they can often face ostracization and retaliation as a result of them exposing the truth. The question is, however, should companies promote whistleblowing? They absolutely should. Furthermore, what should companies do to allow whistleblowing? They should establish concrete programs that facilitate and encourage employees to whistleblow.
Why GM Fails at Whistleblowing
In a BusinessWeek article, GM Recalls: How General Motors Silenced a Whistle-Blower, a report blames General Motors with a culture of complacency for the more than decade-long delay before the company recalled millions of faulty vehicles. It described employees as passing the buck and committees falling back on the “GM nod” – the gesture given by members of a large, corporate meeting after the meeting ends where all in the room believe that the “other guy” plans to put whatever was discussed and agreed in place. An example of the effects of whistleblowing is described in the article written by Tim Higgins and Nick Summers. Steven…...

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