The Ethics of Whistle-Blowing

What do you do when you become aware of an ethical lapse on the part of your organization? Increasingly, the answer is to call the whistle-blowing hotline and collect on the reward offered to those who provide tips that result in successful prosecution. However, what if the organization itself is not aware of the issue because it results from the malfeasance of an individual? What is the ethical action to take then? What if it is not clear if the ethical lapse is illegal? This assignment will prepare you to answer these questions should you be faced with the issue of whistle blowing in the future.

Upon completion of this assignment, you should be able to:

Evaluate ethical responses to potential whistle-blowing situations.
Examine challenges faced by leaders in crises.
Resources
Textbook: Meeting the Ethical Challenges of Leadership
File: Chapter 11.ppt
Background Information
Partially as a result of the actions of Enron, Adelphia Cable, and other companies, federal regulators have been promoting rewards to those who report ethical wrong-doing by their organizations; those who do so are called whistle blowers. Whistle blowing has many challenges, both ethical and operational. A review of recent cases of reported whistle blowing show that fewer than 10% of reported charges result in successful prosecution; those individuals who made the charge are often fired and occasionally black balled within the industry. Whistle blowers often violate confidentially agreements and loyalty, and sever relationships. Additionally, whistle blowing can lead to negative consequences for many who had no knowledge or participation in the ethical violation.

What is the ethical manager to do when faced with a possible violation? This assignment will help prepare you for such a situation.

Instructions
Download and review the PowerPoint presentation, Chapter 11.ppt.
Read Chapter 11 in the textbook Meeting the Ethical Challenges of Leadership. As you read, think about the types of crises that organizations face and ethical issues that may occur as a result of these crises.
Review “Blowing the Whistle: Ethical Tension Points” on pp. 437-438 in the text.
Conduct a search using the Off Campus Library Service for one incident of employee whistle blowing that resulted in a successful prosecution and payment of a reward to the whistle blower.
Navigate to the threaded discussion and respond to the following:
Evaluate the instance of employee whistle blowing identified in the article you found using the ethical decision models identified in assignments 4.2 and 5.3 of this course.
Based on this evaluation, was whistle blowing the appropriate ethical action?
Provide a detailed evaluation that demonstrates clear, insightful critical thinking.
Determine what the likely positive and negative outcomes of the whistle blowing for society, the organization being reported, the customers and employees of the organization, and the whistle blower.
Given these outcomes, was the reward to the whistle blower fair and equitable?
Provide a detailed defense of your position that demonstrates clear, insightful critical thinking.
Your initial post should be 200 to 300 words in length and include two academic resources that are properly cited.
Your initial post is due by the end of the fourth day of the workshop.
Read and conduct a critical analysis of postings by two of your classmates by the end of the workshop.
The topic of your discussion response should be your classmate’s posting and should be written as if you were reviewing his or her posting in an academic journal. Your discussion response should therefore answer the following questions as applicable:
Were the arguments of your classmate articulate and logical? Were the facts correct?
Was the interpretation your classmate provided reasonable and consistent with experts in the field? Was your classmate consistent with both the substance and intent of his/her references?
The focus for your critical analysis is not whether or not you agree with your classmate, but how well his/her position was presented.
Each response should be at least 200 words in length and cite two academic sources. (Note: the academic sources do not count towards the word length requirement.)
Respond to the following:
Evaluate the instance of employee whistle blowing identified in the article you found using the ethical decision models identified in assignments 4.2 and 5.3 of this course.
Based on this evaluation, was whistle blowing the appropriate ethical action?
Provide a detailed evaluation that demonstrates clear, insightful critical thinking.
Determine what the likely positive and negative outcomes of the whistle blowing for society, the organization being reported, the customers and employees of the organization, and the whistle blower.
Given these outcomes, was the reward to the whistle blower fair and equitable?
Provide a detailed defense of your position that demonstrates clear, insightful critical thinking.

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