From Inaction to External Whistleblowing: The Influence of the Ethical Culture of Organizations on Employee Responses to Observed Wrongdoing

48 Pages Posted: 8 Sep 2009

See all articles by M. Kaptein

M. Kaptein

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: August 19, 2009

Abstract

Putting measures in place to prevent wrongdoing in organizations is important, but detecting and correcting wrongdoing is just as vital. Employees who observe wrongdoing should therefore be encouraged to respond in a manner that supports corrective action. This paper examines the influence of the ethical culture of organizations on employee responses to observed wrongdoing.The findings show that, contrary to transparency and congruency of management, many other dimensions of ethical culture were negatively related to inaction and external whistleblowing and positively related to direct interven-tion, reporting to management and calling an ethics hotline. The model used for ethical culture explained 27.5% of intended responses by employees.

Keywords: ethical culture, ethics hotline, reporting, whistleblowing, wrongdoing

JEL Classification: M, G3, F23, M14

Suggested Citation

Kaptein, M., From Inaction to External Whistleblowing: The Influence of the Ethical Culture of Organizations on Employee Responses to Observed Wrongdoing (August 19, 2009). ERIM Report Series Reference No. ERS-2009-047-ORG. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1466508

M. Kaptein (Contact Author)

affiliation not provided to SSRN

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