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Assignment work within a legal and efficical time frame essay

A common assumption behind these efforts is that whistleblowing produces benefits to society at large, as it assignment work within a legal and efficical time frame essay a more ethical work environment.

Still, little is known about many aspects of the decision to blow the whistle on a wrongful act. Particularly in Brazil, where the topic remains neglected by researchers, specific cultural elements may hinder whistleblowing behaviors and limit the generalization of findings from previous studies, which have almost always been based on Anglo-Saxon country context. By exploring this gap, this essay discusses some antecedents of internal whistleblowing and proposes a comprehensive framework which integrates organizational, individual and situational influences in order to allow for a further understanding of the phenomenon and its cultural interfaces, as well as to provide practitioners and researchers with new insights and perspectives on the topic.

Introduction Corporate wrongdoing has received a great deal of attention in academic literature as its impacts to organizations and societies have become a growing source of concern. In addition, the financial costs for organizations may be considerably higher if we add the amount spent on auditing mechanisms. In fact, when it comes to fraud deterrence and detection, most people think of a group of auditors analyzing financial statements and documents in search of irregularities.

Notwithstanding, research has consistently demonstrated that rather than audits, the most effective way to detect frauds and malpractices are tips; i. As examples, major scandals such as those of Enron and Worldcom have come to light only due to the action of employees who decided to uncover their organizations' practices. It can occur internally - when the misconduct is reported to a recipient within the organization - or externally - when the disclosure is made to an external party.

As a phenomenon, whistleblowing has been studied since the 1980s, but research and debates on the topic have especially been fostered in the last decade with the emergence of major corporate frauds, followed by the Sarbanes Oxley Act. The fact that whistleblowing is a complex phenomenon with psychological, organizational, social and legal implications may account for some research shortcomings. Similarly, the inherent sensitive nature of reporting poses methodological obstacles to the investigation of whistleblowing, thus challenging researchers.

As a result, the generalization of extant research findings concerning whistleblowing may be unviable, thereby requiring further investigations to be applied to contexts other than those of previous studies. Particularly in Brazil, besides being neglected by researchers, the topic seems to be taboo for organizations. Thus, it is reasonable to expect that the findings of previous research regarding the whistleblowing phenomenon might not be directly generalized to the Brazilian context.

In the light of such considerations, this essay seeks to identify and discuss factors that influence internal whistleblowing intentions in organizations in general, and how Brazilian cultural characteristics, in particular, are related to these factors. To that end, we integrate organizational, individual and situational variables in a group of theoretical propositions in a comprehensive framework. We expect to provide useful insights on how individuals form their reporting intentions and how cultural elements may influence these intentions, thus contributing to a further understanding of whistleblowing phenomenon and its cultural interfaces.

We also expect to pave the way for future research in Brazil and in other countries whose cultural contexts share similarities, such as Latin American countries in general. This definition conveys the notion that whistleblowing involves at least four elements: Regarding the fourth element, if the misconduct is reported to persons within the organization, such as those from the top management, we refer to the act as an internal whistleblowing.

As a general rule, employees will only blow the whistle externally when a previous internal disclosure was not successful. Internal whistleblowing, on the other hand, allows organizations a chance to privately correct the violation, avoiding public scandals.

Reasonably, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 encourages internal disclosure by mandating that publicly-held companies develop anonymous, internal whistleblowing channels Moberly, 2006. Regardless of the channel used to report, those who blow the whistle may be considered traitors.

Some, for example, view whistleblowing as an act of dissent - since it involves the disclosure of information that others seek to keep private Jubb, 1999 - questioning accepted practices and challenging those in positions of authority Keenan, 2002. It is not to say that whistleblowing is an act of pure altruism. To a certain extent, whistleblowers may actually be motivated by intrinsic rewards such as the improvement of the workplace environment or the resolution of a perceived problem.

However, it is often the case that the whistleblower also seeks to achieve a personal gain, such as a financial reward, as granted by some statutes in U. Nonetheless, emotions such as anger and fear may play a role at various stages in the whistleblowing decision process, overriding rationality Henik, 2008. Brazilian culture and whistleblowing As a complex construct, whistleblowing is dependent upon a wider social setting Vandekerckhove, 2010.

Still, there is a tendency to investigate the phenomenon from a culturally bounded perspective, without focusing on cultural and international differences, which may hamper a better understanding of the whistleblowing behavior and the generation of relevant insights for practitioners and policy makers Keenan, 2002; MacNab et al.

A few studies have analyzed assignment work within a legal and efficical time frame essay phenomenon from a cross-cultural perspective, relying on Hofstede's cultural framework. These studies have typically compared whistleblowing tendencies in the United States and in Asian countries, highlighting the existence of a negative perception of whistleblowing in the latter, which is noted to be a result of a collectivist culture rooted in Confucian values e.

Jointly, these studies' findings suggest not only that cultural elements do influence what people think about whistleblowing but also that this specific judgment is relevant enough to sway which elements they consider relevant to the decision whether to speak out.

Besides calling into question the generalization of previous research findings, this fact demonstrates the need to build a further understanding of the phenomenon through more complex models that take culture-specific elements into consideration. According to Hofstede 1991the Brazilian culture is characterized by: To Prates and Barros 1997the power concentration rooted in Brazilian society stems from a colonial period marked by a master-slave relation that provided the pattern according to which all other social relations are built or distorted.

Inasmuch as whistleblowing represents a subversion against the traditional organization's hierarchy and involves a confrontation - either with the organization or with the wrongdoer - it is suggested that whistleblowing may not be a natural course of action in Brazilian culture. The word cordiality, as used by Holanda, refers to the affectionate and informal way Brazilian people deal with one another and to the relevant role played by emotions and personal relationships in their society.

As suggested by the author, the cordial man has a desire to see the world as an extension of the family. Freitas 1997 reinforced this analysis, adding that Brazilian society is strongly based on interpersonal relations and characterized by an aversion to distances as well as by a continuous desire to establish intimacy and personal contact even in those relations that are supposed to be formal.

The affectionate nature of Brazilian people is also expressed in the metaphors of house and street created by DaMatta 1987 to represent the dichotomy between the intimacy assignment work within a legal and efficical time frame essay the home - realms of hospitality, loyalty and harmony - and the exclusion of the streets, where those individuals that do not belong to one's social circle face the impersonal nature of competition, laws and civil rights.

The Brazilian jeitinho is a synthesis of these features, consisting in a special way of managing obstacles in order to find a way out of bureaucracy and formality. It implies bypassing the law by calling for personal relations, emotional speeches and flexibility, at the same time that avoids confrontation and conflict Barbosa, 1992; DaMatta, 1987, 1998.

As an example, Amado and Brasil 1991 suggest that Brazilians solve problems by postponing them, thus escaping from the radical standpoints of a confrontation in personal terms.

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This attitude, according to the authors, is also related to the fear of assuming risks that leads Brazilian people to push the problem upwards; i. In short, these evidences are consistent and allow for the definition of an identity in Brazilian culture that, by and large, is not favorable to whistleblowing behavior.

Blowing the whistle by exposing a wrongdoing is definitely incompatible with a relational-based culture that values personal loyalty and discourages conflict. The metaphors of house and streets as well as the Brazilian jeitinho, in turn, imply that rules do not apply equally to everyone in the society, suggesting that the decision of blowing the whistle - besides of being a non-natural course of action - is contingent to personal relations.

Theoretical Whistleblowing Model Overview Several studies have sought to ascertain the antecedents, correlates and consequences of whistleblowing, as well as to model its process. These studies have typically focused on three general categories of factors: Theoretical models of whistleblowing have also relied upon Rest's 1986 four component theory of moral action: Similarly, Ponemon 1994synthesizing research literature on the whistleblower's decision process, posited that an individual must first have sufficient ethical sensitivity to identify a moral issue and then must possess the ability to frame the problem and to develop a strategy for dealing with it.

As a final step, he stated, clearly based on Rest's framework, the whistleblower must have the perseverance to carry out the planned intention. Still, the decision to assignment work within a legal and efficical time frame essay the whistle is a difficult decision to make and seems to involve a much more complex process Miceli, 2004.

So, we seek to provide a further understanding of the psychological process which permeates a whistleblower's decision. Particularly, we develop a theoretical model that identifies some factors that influence whistleblowing intentions and examines the moderating effects of organizational and situational variables on the decision to blow the whistle.

Like Zhang, Chiu and Wei 2009we propose that whistleblowing judgment is an antecedent of whistleblowing intention. It means that one's evaluation of the ethicality of whistleblowing is a necessary prior step which predicts the decision about whether or not to report a wrongdoing. This evaluation is strongly influenced by the individual's ethical judgment of the situation as well as by the seriousness of wrongdoing.

Finally, we believe that the relationship between whistleblowing judgment and whistleblowing intention is moderated by four variables, namely: In other words, it means that individuals that judge whistleblowing as an ethical course of action may decide not to blow the whistle if they fear retaliation, if the misconduct was committed by a high status member of the organization, and if the organization does not tolerate dissent and does not provide support for its members.

Figure 1 presents our theoretical model and its subjacent propositions. Throughout this section, we develop each of these propositions. Ethical judgment Ethical judgment has been featured in several models of ethical decision-making as a variable that influences individual behavior. In Rest's 1986 four-component model, for example, moral judgments are situated in an intermediate sequence in the moral decision process, following an individual's recognition of an ethical issue and preceding the formation of a behavioral intention.

This sequence was reinforced by Jones 1991 in an issue contingent model that introduces the concept of moral intensity to ethical decision making.

  1. How does the Laws of Life assignment work in the classroom?
  2. The impact of moral reasoning and retaliation on whistle-blowing. The CPA Journal, 65 2 , 24-27.
  3. Employee Responsibilities and Rights Journal, 12 4 , 199-217. Is the contest endorsed by any professional organizations?
  4. In other words, an individual's attitude towards whistleblowing, rather than being a fixed construct, may vary according to the context of the wrongdoing. This is not to say, though, that principles are meant to be the only motivation for the dissent behavior.

Likewise, Hunt and Vittel's 1986 general theory of marketing ethics posits that ethical judgments provide the key cognitive input into the formation of behavioral intentions. This definition encompasses the most prominent views of ethical judgments and minimizes some of the divergent views in the literature on the topic. As such, if one judges a conduct as right, fair and morally acceptable, there may be no reason to report it.

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On the other hand, by evaluating a conduct as unethical, individuals may consider reporting it, thus triggering other steps in the whistleblowing decision-making process.

This is not to say that ethical judgment directly influences whistleblowing intention. According to the theory of planned behavior TPBafter all, the intention to perform a given behavior depends upon other considerations, including an individual's attitude towards this behavior Ajzen, 2012. So, instead of a direct influence on behavioral intention, we propose that the ethical judgment of an issue such as a wrongdoing may lead the individual to carry out a more favorable attitude toward whistleblowing; i.

Thus we posit that the ethical judgment of a given situation will influence one's attitude towards whistleblowing in that specific situation. Thus, it follows that: Seriousness of wrongdoing Wrongdoing varies in type, characteristics and potential consequences. Evidence suggests that characteristics of the wrongdoing may have significant implications in the decision to blow the whistle. The seriousness of the wrongdoing corresponds to one of the six components of the moral intensity construct proposed by Jones 1991namely the magnitude of consequences.

It refers to the extent of the consequences individuals associate with a moral issue. Anyway, considerations regarding the severity of the wrongdoing are paramount regardless of the channels to be used.

Specifically, less serious types of wrongdoing may lead individuals to perceive whistleblowing as unnecessary, unfair or not right, whereas more serious cases may lead them to consider whistleblowing as a more appropriate course of action.

In fact, most of the ethical decision-making models propose that intentions are an antecedent of ethical behavior Zhang et al. Thus, it is reasonable to assume that an individual's intention to blow the whistle, or the perceived likelihood of choosing to report a wrongdoing, can strongly predict one's actual behavior Zhang et al. The main point, therefore, is to understand how the disclosure intentions are formed. According to the TPB, an individual's attitude towards a behavior is one of the antecedents of behavioral intention.

Attitude refers to readily accessible beliefs about the likely outcomes of the behavior in question and the evaluations of these outcomes.

In general, the more favorable the attitude, the stronger the intention to perform the behavior Ajzen, 2012. As we posited before, in Brazil whistleblowing is sensitive to cultural values that account for a negative perception about such a behavior. Thus, it is reasonable to believe that whistleblowing judgment is contingent upon situational characteristics. In other words, an individual's attitude towards whistleblowing, rather than being a fixed construct, may vary according to the context of the wrongdoing.

So, given all the evidence that demonstrates the relationship between behavioral judgment and behavioral intention, and understanding the attitude towards whistleblowing as situation-based, it follows that: The more positive the individual's attitude towards whistleblowing, the higher the intention to blow the whistle on a wrongdoing. Furthermore, many people, mainly in collectivist societies, disapprove whistleblowing and consider it a form of betrayal or, in popular words ratting assignment work within a legal and efficical time frame essay tattling Zhang et al.

As a result, it may be expected that whistleblowers face a significant risk of retaliation, even when their disclosures benefit the organization. Data collected from actual whistleblowers have consistently demonstrated that most of them experienced some form of retaliation Jernberg, 2003. For example, Soeken and Soeken 1987 documented that, in a sample of 87 whistleblowers from both private industry and government, all but one respondent had reported experiencing retaliation as a result of their disclosure.

  • Ethical judgments in business ethics research;
  • Teaching Business Ethics, 3 4 , 383-398;
  • This is not to say, though, that principles are meant to be the only motivation for the dissent behavior;
  • The fear of retaliation moderates the relationship between whistleblowing judgment and whistleblowing intention, so that the higher the fear of retaliation, the less likely a favorable attitude towards whistleblowing will develop into an intention to blow the whistle;
  • American Business Law Journal, 44 1 , 1-54.