Original Research

Sounds of Silence: Organisational trust and decisions to blow the whistle

Elli Binikos
SA Journal of Industrial Psychology | Vol 34, No 3 | a728 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajip.v34i3.728 | © 2008 Elli Binikos | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 10 July 2008 | Published: 18 November 2008

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Elli Binikos,, South Africa

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Abstract

Whistleblowing is a form of pro-social behaviour that occurs when an employee reports organisational wrongdoing to an authority able to implement corrective action. While a number of social factors may infuence an employee’s decision to blow the whistle, very little cognisance is given to the role of organisational trust. Since whistleblowing situations often pose problems for whistleblowers, organisational trust becomes an important facilitator for the decision to blow the whistle. Drawing on a case study, this paper shows that when trust exists, employees are more likely to blow the whistle and to do so internally rather than externally.

Keywords

whistleblowing; public disclosure; victimisation; hostility; decision-making; trust

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