Some Paradoxes Associated With Whistle Blowing.
The term whistle blower refers to an individual or an informant who exposes wrongdoing within the organization with the objective or hopes to stop it. On the other hand, a paradox refers to the inconsistency between the theory of our systematic understanding of whistle blowing and what we actually know about whistle blowing. This paper provides a comprehensive and critical analysis of the paradoxes behind whistle blowing. However, there is nothing morally problematic about whistle blowing because after all. This is because revealing of the information that has not been revealed is part of the function of science.
However, research shows that what does tend to make whistle blowing problematic is its organizational context. It is extremely difficult for an individual for an individual to blow the whistle in any interesting sense, only members of the organization are capable of blowing the whistle in his own organization. It is prudent to note that for an individual to be a whistle blower; such a person must be able to reveal the information with which one is entrusted. The whistle blower therefore has the sole responsibility to reveal the information which the organization does not want to be revealed.
It is prudent to note that whistle blowing always involves revealing information which would not otherwise ordinarily be revealed
Some of the theories put forward and which explains the paradoxes in whistle blowing include: the complexity theory and the standard theory.
The standard theory.
According to this theory, more or less standards such as disloyalty are morally permissible in circumstances where the organization in which the person to be the whistle blower belongs is likely to do serious harm to the public by applying the organizational policies in which he/she belongs.
However, the theory postulates that whistle blowers are morally required especially when the above stated conditions are met. According to the theory whistle blowing is needed only if it can prevent harm by incurring little cost.
Because whistle blowing is generally costly especially to the whistleblower, the standard theory’s minimally decent Samaritanism provides no justification for the central causes in whistle blowing. This is the paradox of burden that is associated with this theory.
The second paradox in this theory is concerned with the prevention of harm. In the standard theory. Some of the harm being referred to include: death, diseases, falsification of the record among others, financial or even psychological such as the mental illness.
The complicity theory demands that the individual to be the whistle blower has to unfold what he/she is aware of to the general public without fear or favour. However, what you know and you want to reveal to the general public should have the following conditions:
- The information which you are planning to reveal to the general public must be derived from the work individual is doing or the organization in which an individual work.
- In occasions where an individual is convinced that the information to be revealed might contribute to the harm if not revealed, the individual is advised to reveal such information to the general public so as to prevent wrong doing.
- This theory differs from the standard theory. For instance, according to the complicity theory, what is revealed by the whistleblower must be derived from his work for the organization a condition that distinguishes the whistle blower from a spy. One of the advantages of the complicity theory is that it involves more demanding obligation than the ability to prevent harm does.
Second difference is that the complicity theory explicitly requires the whistleblower to be voluntary participant in the organization in question unlike the standard theory.
The third difference is that complicity theory requires moral wrong and not harm for justification.
In conclusion, it is prudent to note that this paper has examined some of the theories associated with whistle blowing. The paper has also examined some of the paradoxes associated with whistle blowing.
Gini, A. (2009). Case studies in business ethics (6th ed). Upper Saddle River: Pearson/Prentice Hall. ISBN 0132424320.