Whistleblowing relates to decisions made by workers to disclose details to parties in official positions. The crisis evident financially which occurred globally has resulted in a situation where the greater focus is directed towards whistleblowing. For example, the Securities Exchange Commission which operates in the US indicates an 8% increment of requests from whistleblowers to provide individual reports (Watts & Buckley, 2017). On the other hand, the Financial Conduct Authority which oversees operations in the UK indicated a 38% increase in reports generated by whistleblowers. The paper’s objective is to underscore the factors that make whistleblowers a threat and the legal, ethical and industry related issues which can be anticipated from their activities.
The factors that make whistleblowers threatening
According to Zakaria (2015), whistleblowers can cost the careers of individuals in the environments that corporations can establish. Moreover, the individuals implicated are forced to endure litigation or even a prison sentence. Whistleblowers are a threat as they can result in extensive losses of profits for enterprises as well as the value which can be attached to the shares that the company offers to its public. Before Eron’s declaration of bankruptcy, its shares traded at $90.75 which later declined to $0.26. Other companies which have lost revenue in the settlement of various lawsuits emanating from whistleblowing include Worldcom and Tyco (Lopez, LaVan & Katz, 2014). The banks affiliated with Worldcom such as J.P. Morgan and Citigroup were required to make settlements that amounted to $6 billion. In addition, the company lost assets which were valued at $107 billion.
Moreover, a negative image is fostered when uncouth practices that employers engage in are highlighted. The sales of an enterprise can be negatively impacted due to whistleblowing. For enterprises whose scale of operation is extensive, the prospect of attaining success over the long haul is curtailed (Near & Miceli, 2016). Furthermore, the rate at which an enterprise’s products might be accessible is bound to be limited. The implication is that clients who might prefer to purchase an organization’s products may be accorded opportunities which are extensively restricted.
Whistleblowers pose a serious threat to operations owing to their propensity to disclose details considered to be confidential (Bashshur & Oc, 2015). For example, Anti-slap laws offer remedies that whistleblowers can rely on in various procedures which are court related. More specifically, the regulations ensure that whistleblowers can exercise their constitution given rights where they are exposed to lawsuits owing to their endeavors. Hence, they speak freely while making the requirement for respective governments to ensure that their grievances are addressed.
Currently, governments continue to encourage efforts geared toward exposing fraudulent activities conducted by establishments. The responses by some operational entities involve limitations to information access (Bartuli, Mir Djawadi & Fahr, 2016). Moreover, companies are forced to incur additional expenses for the implementation of policies that facilitate governance for the limitation of fraud. For example, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act mandates necessary procedures whose expenses are covered from the dollars that accrue to administration. The systems operational internally in an enterprise are bound to be characterized by mistrust. The outcome is that an environment which is counterproductive is created. Workers may review workplace policies with suspicion, and the conduct of employers may also be subjected to extensive scrutiny.
The discussion of ethical, legal and industry related business issues concerning whistleblowing
Whistleblowing is essential for the strategy that an enterprise may use for its corporate governance endeavors (Lee & Fargher, 2017). Ethically, disclosure relating to improper organization activities is widely supported by the parties who are bound to feel affected. Democracy Corps which is located in the US conducted a survey to evaluate the public's perception of whether whistleblowers should be protected in 2007. However, the practice has some implications for the individual involved on a level that is personal.
The individual engaged in making disclosures are forced to choose between the loyalty that is necessary for their interaction with the employer and the regulations that determine what is acceptable morally (Liu, Liao & Wei, 2015). Moreover, their activities may serve to help the communities in which they reside. The outcome of a whistleblower’s actions is that they do not have to contend with an environment that is dehumanizing. Companies can adopt an ethical approach towards whistleblowers. Hence, they should be receptive to the reports which are generated. Moreover, appropriate actions are necessary for respect to the intelligence received.
Legally, regulations have been adopted by the Federal Government and various states to ensure that whistleblowers are protected. For example, individuals can be able to report the activities conducted by the government which is fraudulent owing to the protection offered by the False Claims Act. Other regulations include the Conscientious Employee Protection Act. However, the laws are not enough to cover the consequences that the individuals might personally encounter (Cho & Song, 2015). For example, it should be anticipated that the parties involved might be forced to lose their positions owing to retaliation efforts. In some situations, they might be forced to face different forms of litigation as a result of disclosing some details which must have been kept confidential.
Most individuals who expose company or enterprise operations which do not conform to set regulations to suffer various repercussions in their respective industries. For example, they might be regarded with mistrust despite their continued involvement in the activities that their enterprises may engage in (Vandekerckhove, 2016). The outcome is that the relationships which might have been forged in places where work is to be performed might be negatively challenged. In addition, the messages communicated by whistleblowers may fall to attract necessary action in the organizations where their services are mandated.
Application of research, course terminology and themes to analyze the case study
The application of course terminology ensures that the fall of Enron can be understood. The unethical practices at Enron were highlighted by Sherron Watkins who had to assume the position of the company’s whistleblower owing to an appointment by congress. The themes that culminate in whistleblowing include frauds occurring internally in an enterprise which may be accounting related. Situations which endanger the welfare of the public generally can attract attention from whistleblowers. Moreover, the rewards inherent in exposing organizations might drive the intentions of respective whistleblowers.
Discussion of how the case and issues at hand were resolved
Enron Corp. was rocked by a massive scandal in 2001. The company was involved in fraudulent activities which led to the manipulation of its accounts. Through the actions of a whistleblower affiliated with the enterprise, the company’s actions were brought to light. The outcome is that the corporation collapsed rendering many workers jobless who were estimated to be 20000 in total (Vandekerckhove, 2016). Most of the workers at Enron Corp. lost their savings some of which was held as part of the stock that accrued to the enterprise. Jeffrey Skilling who was Enron’s C.E.O was forced to contend with a prison sentence owing to his involvement in company earnings manipulation as well as the prices which were offered for available stock. In addition, his incarceration stemmed from offering fabricating information for workers as well as investors in relation to the health attributed to the company financially.
Personal opinion concerning whistleblowing
According to my understanding, whistleblowing is among the practices which can be undertaken to ensure that societies are effectively reformed. However, the parties involved must expect some difficulties in the endeavors that they might elect to undertake. They may not be trusted by their employers, and fellow workers might consider their intentions as being malicious. However, such individuals are an essential component of the societies in which they reside. Where the intelligence they provide is acted on, the places in which they work are bound to feature more transparency. Moreover, workers are required to ensure that their duties are ethically performed.
In my opinion, reported frauds ensure that communities do not incur losses which are often in the form of the taxes paid. The money can be directed into initiatives which would serve to benefit the communities involved. Furthermore, company shareholders are assured that their investments are utilized using methods that would pave the way for returns that are effectively optimized. Some of the reports made ensure that a region's residents do not have to suffer the repercussions portended by erratic actions.
Whistleblowers provide the foundation on which reputable democracies are formed. The encouragement offered for such parties can be informed of the rewards offered. Besides, they are allowed to enjoy a conscience clear of any nagging thoughts of corporate practices which are unethical.
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