Klokkenluiden en veiligheid, de wegen die werknemers bewandelen bij verschillende typen misstanden op het werk

D. van Dijk MSc, M. Malsch, G. Wolters, W. Huisman

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Abstract

In the Netherlands whistle-blowing regulations are still unbalanced and ineffective in the protection of whistle-blowers and the prevention of misconduct at work. This article focuses on the question how whistle-blowing behaviour is influenced by the type and severity of the wrongdoing. The study also examines to whom employees would report (internally and/or externally), if they would report anonymously, and why they would do that or not. As far as the authors know, this is one of the first studies on whistle-blowing behaviour that systematically investigates the characteristics of the wrongdoing by using vignettes. In a two by two design, two kinds of wrongdoing (safety problem or embezzlement) at two levels of severity are plotted against each other. When confronted with severe wrongdoing, respondents intend to blow the whistle more often (externally) than with mild wrongdoing. Of the four cases, the difference between mild and severe embezzlement is most pronounced. Internally, a difference is found between the vignettes in reporting anonymously. Most respondents prefer to report to their direct supervisor, especially when a mild safety problem occurs. With severe embezzlement however, respondents prefer to report to a confidential adviser within the company. Outside the company, reporting to one’s trade union is most popular. Nearly all respondents would only report externally after an internal report has not yielded any results, or they would not report outside the company at all. They often argue that it is an internal problem and that the company could be harmed if the wrongdoing would be disclosed. This argument is used in all vignettes. Anonymity is still considered important by the majority of the respondents. It is recommended in this article that policymakers specify whistle-blowing regulations that are adaptable to the specific characteristics of the wrongdoing and the reporting employee(s).
Original languageDutch
Article number4
Pages (from-to)57-71
Number of pages15
JournalTijdschrift voor veiligheid
Volume11
Issue number3
Early online date1 Sep 2012
Publication statusPublished - 2012

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