The Drivers in the Use of Online Whistle-Blowing Reporting Systems
Paul Benjamin Lowry
City University of Hong Kong (CityUHK) - College of Business - Department of Information Systems
University of Pittsburgh - Katz Graduate School of Business
Dennis F. Galletta
University of Pittsburgh and Director, Katz Doctoral Program
Brigham Young University - Department of Information Systems
September 30, 2013
Journal of Management Information Systems, Vol. 30(1), pp. 153-189 (doi: 10.2753/MIS0742-1222300105)
Online whistle-blowing reporting systems (WBRS) are becoming increasingly prevalent channels for reporting organizational failures. The Sarbanes-Oxley Act and similar international laws require firms to establish whistle-blowing (WB) procedures and WBRS, thus increasing the importance of WB research and applications. Although the literature has addressed conventional WB behavior, it has not explained and measured the use of WBRS in online contexts that could significantly affect perceptions of anonymity, trust, and risk for those using such reporting tools. Addressing these opportunities, this study proposes the WBRS model (WBRS-M). Using actual working professionals in an online experiment of hypothetical scenarios, we empirically test WBRS-M for reporting computer abuse and find that anonymity, trust, and risk are highly salient in the WBRS context. Our findings suggest that we have an improved WB model with increased explanatory power. We show that organizations can increase WB by enhancing WBRS users’ perceptions of trust and anonymity. We also demonstrate that anonymity is richer than a mere lack of identification, which is not as important in this context as other elements of anonymity.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 61
Keywords: Whistle-blowing, whistle-blowing reporting systems, organizational governance, organizational failure, computer abuse, anonymity, trust, IT artifacts, riskAccepted Paper Series
Date posted: November 11, 2012 ; Last revised: September 9, 2013
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