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Category: Social Issues

Autor: anton 11 March 2011

Words: 853 | Pages: 4


The origin of the term whistle blowing is uncertain. It may refer to English policemen blowing whistles to alert others to an illegal act or to sports referees stopping a game due to a rule infraction. The term began to be used in a way relevant to science, technology, and ethics in the 1960s and became part of the common vocabulary as a result of Ralph Nader's investigative activities during the 1970s. The American Heritage Dictionary defines a whistleblower as "one who reveals wrongdoing within an organization to the public or to those in positions of authority," but a more detailed analysis of the term is appropriate.

Based on the above definition, it is possible to distinguish between internal and external whistle blowing. Internal whistle blowing occurs when the hierarchical chain of command within an organization is violated, so that one's immediate superiors are bypassed, perhaps because they have refused to act or are themselves involved in the wrongdoing. The whistle blowing is internal, however, because it stays within the organization. External whistle blowing refers to going outside the organization, possibly to a regulatory agency, the press, or directly to the public

For example, Daniel Ellsberg is the most famous whistle blower in United States history because he was the one who leaked the Pentagon Papers setting in motion actions that would eventually topple the Nixon presidency and end the Vietnam War. These papers basically showed the American people had been deceived about Vietnam and that there was corruption in the government which shortened the Nixon presidency and help end the Vietnam War. If it hadn’t done that the war would have probably gone on a lot longer and would have caused the loss of many more lives for pointless reasons. This is a good example of why it is important to whistle blow because after Daniel Ellsberg whistle blew the public support of the war eroded causing the war to come to a pre mature end. (Wartergate/

Whistle blowing is turning out to be very important in the world at large. This is because the amount of corruption in the world today. If people don’t whistle blow when there is a violation of the law or fraudulent act then there is little chance of the world as a whole moving forward and things getting better in places such as Africa.

It will be hard to wipe out corruption in the world, but at least with whistle blowing we can minimise it and help bring it out to an all time low. By blowing the whistle on acts such as racism, and corruption people rights will be looked at and maintained. Sexual harassment on the part of women and money paid as bribe to get better job positions will be reduced through people blowing the whistle. The health and safety of employees will be enhanced through whistleblowers. An example is in the manufacturing industry, when a company’s secret becomes known to the general public. It will go a long way to take necessary precautions in producing the products and improve quality.

Also because of the importance of whistle blowing today, there are legal laws that are put in place to protect whistle blowers. Without whistle blowing the reputation and staff morale are not enhanced. Most employees feel unsafe at work places because of the threat of being sacked if they reveal the acts of the members of an organisation that is seen as contrary to the aims and objectives of the organisation.

In the United Kingdom, the public interest disclosure act 1998 provides legal protection for individuals who observe malpractices at their workplaces and decide to disclose the information of similar concern. For example this protects whistle blowers from victimisation and dismissal. These legal laws protecting whistle blowers has made a place in whistle blowers in the society.

However there are negative aspects associated with whistle blowing. Whistle blowers could be looked over because the manager will rather pick someone that would not disclose their evil deeds. This gives way to bribery and corruption in their society. Also most people that lose their job especially if they whistle blow find it very difficult to get another job because their previous employee may be reluctant to provide reference and the current employer may be unwilling to provide the job for the fact that the new employer may disclose the organisations wrong doings to the general public. Also most employers who blow the whistle experience difficulties in getting help towards research. This goes a long way to affect the employees’ morale because his sense of belonging to the organisation is shunned by almost everybody. And because of that the employee may be forced to drop the allegation.

To end this all, I will conclude by saying that whistle blowing has a place in society because, there are legal laws to protect individuals who witness the wrong doings in organisation the work and disclose it to the general public. Unless people are encouraged to blow the whistle, the fight against malpractice and corruption will just keep getting worse.

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