· Article. · George W.Reynolds (2012). Ethics in Information



Bouville. (2008). Whistle-Blowing and Morality. The Journal of Business Ethics.
81 (3), p579–585. Journal Article.

Z. TaylorMary B. Curtis. (2010). An Examination of the Layers of Workplace
Influences in Ethical Judgments: Whistleblowing Likelihood and Perseverance in
Public Accounting. The Journal of Business Ethics. 93 (1), p21–37. Journal Article.

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KingIII. (1999). The Implications of an Organization’s Structure on
Whistleblowing. The Journal of Business Ethics. 20 (4), p315–326. Journal Article.

W.Reynolds (2012). Ethics in Information Technology. 3rd ed. Boston,
USA: Joe Sabatino. p331-373. Book.

Journal Article.

McCallister, Timothy Grance, Karen A. Scarfone., (2010). Guide to Protecting the Confidentiality of Personally Identifiable
Information (PII). National Institute of Standards and Technology Special
Publication 800-122 Natl. Inst. Stand. Technol. Spec. Publ. 800-122, 59 pages.







Like there’s no rose without a
thorn, either way whistleblowing would or would not be considered as wrong
doing depending on the weightage of the consequence relating to the company and
the person himself.

Internal whistle blowing is being
encouraged by many legal systems and legislations where there is also a
probability factor that the person may have chosen to leak information about
the company which may have negatively affected the society in the future and
hence forth the whistleblower might be saved in the face of law, if proven that
the information leaked would cause a commotion.

Whistleblowers need to be insiders,
that is, either currently or previously associated with the organization and a
further discrepancy may be made between open and anonymous whistleblowing
during a situation.

To conclude and summarize the essay,
this literature explains that whistleblowing is a serious ethical dilemma where
from the perspective of ethics in general, whistleblowers are faced with
deciding whether to break the bond of loyalty to their respective organizations
or to make a 3rd party aware about it in such a situation apart from
being beneficial or elsewise.



“Whistle-blowing is generally
considered from the viewpoint of professional morality. Morality rejects the
idea of choice and the interests of the professional as immoral. Yet the
dreadful retaliations against the messengers of the truth make it necessary for
morality to leave a way out of whistle-blowing. Therefore it forges rights -sometimes
called duties- to trump the duty to the public prescribed by professional
codes. This serves to hide the obvious fact that whether to blow the whistle is
indeed a choice, not a matter of objective duty. One should also notice that if
it fails to achieve anything then blowing the whistle was the wrong decision
(or maybe the right decision that nobody would want to make). There is
nevertheless a tendency to judge it based on the motivation of the whistle
blower. In a way, whistle blowers should strive to act like saints. Yet, it is
logically impossible to hold both whistle-blowing as mandatory and
whistle-blowers as heroes or saints. Moreover, this tends to value the great
deeds of a few over the lives of the many, which is incompatible with the basic
assumptions of morality.” (Mathieu Bouville,2008)



More over as per Eileen and Mary’s
sayings “Whistle blowing has a volatile reputation, at best. First, it directly
implies ethical failure and involves one person judging the ethical behavior of
another. Second, whistleblowing is often anonymous, depriving the reported-on
an individual the right to face his or her accuser. Third, whistleblowing often
entails reporting outside of the established lines of communication and
authority. Finally, whistleblowing requires trust in those at the top of the
organization to take appropriate actions when they learn of misdeeds by their
employees. Unfortunately, even when wrong doing is detrimental to a large number
of people external to the organization (e.g. fraudulent ?nancial reporting,
hacking into to the system resulting in arti?cially high stock prices and
leaking sensitive data regarding the organization), those internal to the
organization often view the whistleblower’s report (rather than the initial
wrongdoing) as the cause of their losses. Evidence of widespread retaliation
and cost to the whistleblower himself is well documented. However uncomfortable
we are with the notion of reporting on the behavior of others, whistleblowing
is an important organizational control. Indeed, industry surveys  and academic research support the contention
that reporting mechanisms aid in the prevention and detection of unethical behavior.” (Eileen Z and Mary B, 2010)

“Furthermore, internal disclosure
creates an ethical atmosphere within the organization where employees are
encouraged to report unethical behavior. If, however, the organization’s
climate is favorable to suppressing internal disclosure, the wrongdoing may go
unreported for months causing the organization to suffer. Although internal and
external whistleblowing appear to be different, they are conceptually similar.
For instance, both forms of whistleblowing start with individuals observing
organizational wrongdoings committed by executives/ managers or employees.
Besides, both use the active voice i.e., verbal communication, as a means of
eliminating the wrongdoing, instead of alternative approaches, such as sabotage
or violence where both forms of whistleblowing may threaten organizational
norms and culture, creating an atmosphere of animosity and retaliation against
the observer of the wrongdoing.” (Granville, 1999)

“On the other hand, in circumstances
where the wrongdoer is a higher official, the observer of the wrongdoing could
report the incident to other members of upper management who could eliminate
the unlawful act. This type of action may be accompanied by the exiting of the
wrongdoer and/or rebel. Whistleblowing is a sensitive style of communication
which requires the successful communicator to consider the audience, purpose,
language, and tone of the wrongdoing that is being disclosed. There are a
couple of benefits to internal whistleblowing as opposed to external
disclosure. For an example, Internal disclosures allow organizations a chance
to fix problems before they develop into full-blown scandals in the eyes of
public.” (Granville, 1999)

However according to Granville “whistleblowing
can occur when parties external to the organization are informed of illegal or
unlawful wrongdoing within an organization. These individuals may be members of
the media, government officials, members of public support groups, or various
other parties external to the organization who can bring about change.
definition of whistleblowing, however, describes it as taking place when a
person reports individual or corporate wrongdoing to sources either internal or
external to the organization. Internal whistleblowing may be defined as
disclosure to sources within the organization (for example, members of upper
management and supervisors) who can bring about effective change regarding a
perceived wrongdoing. Reports of wrongdoing to coworkers (peer reporting),
however, would not be considered whistleblowing.” (Granville,

“For an example, an IT professional
of a company may know and have access to the organization’s sensitive
information regarding the accounting side of its aspect since he or she may be
in charge of the ERP system and may notice the numbers are being fraudulent in
the company’s record. A conscientious employee would call the problem to
management’s attention and try to correct it by working with appropriate
resources within the company. But what if the employee’s attempt to correct the
problem through internal channels was dissatisfied or ignored? The employee
could then consider becoming a whistle-blower and reporting the problem to
people outside the company, including state or federal agencies that have
jurisdiction. Obviously, such actions could have negative consequences on the
employee’s job, perhaps resulting in vengeance and firing. In May 2005, Oracle
Corporation paid $8 million to settle charges that it fraudulently collected
fees before providing training for clients and failed to comply with federal
travel regulations in billing for travel and expenses. The charges arose from a
whistle-blower lawsuit brought by a former Oracle vice president. As a result
of the settlement, the whistleblower received $1.58 million of the $8 million
total settlement.”   (Reynolds, 2012)

“Whistle-blowing is an effort by an
employee to attract attention to a negligent, illegal, unethical, abusive, or
dangerous act by a company that threatens the public interest and that of the
organization. Whistle-blowers often have access to special information based on
their expertise or position within the offending organization.” (Reynolds, 2012)


the modern technology that is being used in work places promises competitive
advantages to the organization it also increases apprehensions about unethical
information practices by employees who are caught up in an ethical dilemma.
These technologies also makes it much easier to copy and distribute information
among the organization and 3rd parties as IT professionals gain
access to equipment and information to violate intellectual property and
privacy decisions.” (Erika et al, 2010)


of Literature























essay is going to include a short study into the incentives in the aspects of
whistleblowing instances as well as its influence to an organization.

The question of ethical behavior in the IT industry is
beginning to get spoken. Unlike older and more recognized professions such as
medicine and law, most ethical issues from IT and security professionals have
not yet been organized into law, nor is there a standard obligatory oversight
body that has established a comprehensive code of ethics for IT professionals
and hence it is essential for an organization to look into the ethical dilemmas
concerning privacy, breach of confidentiality, whistleblowing to maintain a
principled environment for individuals to carry upon their work successfully.


Information technology takes over more of our lives and
the ethical difficulties of decisions made by software developers, programmers and
IT professionals is only becoming greater day by day.






























purpose of this learning is to explore and analyze the different consequences
and effects of leaking confidential information about an organization to the
environment within the organization or outside fighting through ethical
dilemmas and wrong doing. This paper also gives a brief idea on Whistle blowing
in the IT industry mainly and some of the different variables that influence
people to breach confidentiality to an internal party or third party. The goal
is to of this article is to provide brief understanding on whistle blowing.
























Asia Pacific Institute of Information Technology


Harinie Sutharson


of Whistleblowing