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Definition: Whistle-Blowing

The term Whistle- Blowing comes from the term “Whistle Blower”, who is a person raising his voice against any wrongdoing in any organization/system/workplace. Whistle Blowing is the way by means of which we catch people’s attention on such wrongdoings. The term was coined by Mr. Ralph Nader, an US civic activist in 1970. Year 2002, was adjudged “The Year of Whistleblowers” and three people namely: Rowley, Cooper & Watkins were dubbed as “Persons of the Year”.

Whistle- Blowers decide how they go about with the information in hand ie. Either they want to disclose the information to the people within the organization (internal), or to a third party ie. to someone outside the organization. A whistle blower can take the help of media, law enforcement agencies, government and also the people who want to be a part of such activity. Whistle-Blowing is different from a complaint, latter needs to follow a service complaint procedure whereas the former need not to follow any such procedure. People’s perception about whistle blowers varies from them being the selfless martyrs to being the defaulters or people who are spreading bad news about the company.


Classification of wrong doing:

1. Corruption

2. Fraud (or) Threat to public interest/ security of nation.

3. Violation of rules/policies of the company.

4. Any violation to any law/ regulation etc.

Example of Whistle Blowing:

1. Manjunath Shanmugan paid the price of being the whistle blower while bringing everyone’s attention to the wrongdoing in petroleum marketing.

2. Mr. Satyendra Dubey, was an civil engineer from IIT working on highway construction project of government of India. He was murdered because he tried to expose the ongoing corruption in the project by some big names who were directly or indirectly a part of the project.

Advantages of Whistle Blowing:

1. These people play a vital function in any business or governmental organization, whenever there is breach of legalities and ethics these people play an important role by being the harbingers of scrutinizing these issues. Hence help in exposing any sort of unethical practices.

2. Most of the countries have a law which provides protection to the people reporting the malpractices at workplace, this ensures that there isn’t any retaliation against the whistleblowers. It also ensures that these people aren’t deprived of their basic rights and benefits at the workplace.

3. People consider it their moral obligation since they want people to be updated on the wrongdoings.

4. It enhances the CSR and also generates a positive faith in the minds of the shareholders.


Disadvantages of Whistle Blowing:

1. The person is labeled as a renowned offender who may bring about damage to the company and hence effects the prospects of the candidate whenever he is joining a new employees (or) planning to apply for something new.

2. Because of undue media attention, the personal life of such people is at stake as the media wants to delve deep into their lives, wanting to know more and more about them, which creates tension in their lifes.

3. Sometimes it happens that the whistle blowers may face a situation where there is a conflict of interest between their personal and professional life & they might be bias towards their personal life.


Hence, this concludes the definition of Whistle-Blowing along with its overview.


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