Custom Essay on Whistleblowing in organizations
One very important factor to prevent employees from cheating the company would be for encouraging employees to report any discrepancies or encourage “whistleblowers”. In the past whistleblowers were frowned upon, but now they are akin to knights on their chargers who are saving companies in distress. This was authenticated by no less than “Time” magazine when the magazine named Cynthia Cooper and Sharron Watkins as two of their “People of the Year for 2002” for blowing the whistle on Enron. This encouragement has actually bestowed respectability on whistleblowers that recognized their responsibilities by bringing wrongdoings to the attention of their superiors and other appropriate authorities.
Cooper alerted the directors of Enron when she was carrying out an internal audit, despite being asked by the company’s CFO to suspend her investigation. If Cooper had complied with the CFO, the whole shocking muddle would never have become public knowledge. By the time, both employees blew the whistle, a lot of harm had already been done. The eventual losers were the employees and shareholders. So the question here is: what does an organization do so that its employees start asking questions and reporting wrong doings to their superiors the minute they perceive that something is wrong and have the guts to take the required action, in other words, encourage and patronize “whistle blowing”
During the 1970’s many employees who were aware of the product, flaws kept quiet about them. Consequentially, other employees and consumers were gravely damaged, and when the information became public knowledge, the credibility of the organization was jeopardized. There were some cases where whistleblowing did occur, but it was ignored. In 1972, Thomas A Robertson, the Director of Development at Firestone Tire, warned top management that the 500 tire was substandard and could deteriorate at high speeds. Even large companies like General Motors paid no attention to his warnings, and later had to replace 3 million tires and had to pay millions of dollars for lawsuits that had resulted in death and injuries when the tires blew out at high speeds.
If Robertson had been heeded by his company, or if he had blown the whistle and had brought this issue out in the open and made its public knowledge, this would never have happened Obviously, whistleblowers are not liked by most people, except for those who were saved from losses by action taken because of complaints lodged by the whistleblowers. Cultural norms play a large part in these attitudes because they are presumed to have betrayed the trust that was placed in them.