How organizational cultures at the institutions promote or discourage unethical behaviors and whistle-blowing

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Whistleblowing is a practice that seeks to expose immoral and criminal activities in various institutions in order to deter or eliminate wrongdoing (Cho & Song, 2015). The provision of intelligence by insiders often plays an important role in addressing corruption challenges and aiding in the discovery of systemic problems. According to Cho and Song (2015), whistleblowing will result in significant changes and promote improvements in government organizations. Despite the establishment of explicit mechanisms for whistleblowing cognizant of Dodd-Frank Act of 2010 and The Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002, whistle-blowers still face challenges when whistleblowing (Cho & Song, 2015). In essence, organizational cultures often promote unethical behaviors.

Additionally, Cooper asserts that as a whistle-blower, there is always a price one should pay; for instance, there was a time she could not stop crying and notes that friends hate them (Gonzalez, 2002). Further, research showcases that women have a decreased likelihood to expose scandals in organizations as compared to men. Accordingly, organizational culture boost the wrong-doings in the workplace in myriad ways; for instance, Cooper ascertains that she could not be a whistle-blower because, in most cases, if a whistle-blower is not fired, he or she is cornered, made irrelevant or isolated; for instance, Cooper denotes that whistle-blowers face hard times leading to alcoholism and depression. Cooper indicates that accounting scams practiced in institutions such Enron need to be continually exposed to as well as corrected to curb more incidences (Gonzalez, 2002).

What did institutional leaders do to perpetuate or prevent these corrupt behaviors?

Organizational leaders often perpetuate unethical behaviors in the workplace; for example, Cooper indicates that whistle-blowers face hard times including isolation, being made irrelevant or getting laid off. Laying off, isolating or making whistle-blowers irrelevant creates a favorable environment for unethical behavior. As such corrupt individuals continue to conduct wrongs without being exposed. Besides, potential whistle-blowers fear prejudice and tolerate unethical behaviors. As depicted in the article, it was not easy to prevent the September 11 incidence; however, the CIA and the FBI overlooked imperative data and held back information from each other (Gonzalez, 2002). This means that the leaders of these institutions coupled with their respective organizational cultures prevented sharing of information, which could have significantly contributed to the detection of unethical behaviors. Similarly, it is explicit that institutions should be trusted to conduct their work cognizant of their respective capacities; this was never the case in the September 11 because the institutions bestowed with authority to investigate and track the terrorists were not trusted (Gonzalez, 2002).

As depicted, the article provides an example of how doing the right things can help in preventing unethical behaviors and foster smooth working of the systems. Cooper affirms that people should not wait to be told what to do; rather, they should follow the actions of Sarbanes-Oxley where CFOs and CEOs are required to vouch for their companies’ accuracy. She notes that these are ordinary people that never waited for the higher authorities to ensure that everything was done as expected. Accordingly, it is the obligation of whistle-blowers to take charge of the situations and detect the wrong activities in their organizations and report them before systems fail (Gonzalez, 2002). Irrespective of the conducive environments created by organizational cultures and leaders, whistle-blowers should stand firm and safeguard their institutions as they are protected by varied laws and regulations.


Cho, Y. J., & Song, H. J. (2015). Determinants of Whistleblowing Within Government Agencies. Public Personnel Management, 44(4), 450-472. doi:10.1177/0091026015603206

Gonzalez, 2002)

October 20, 2022

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