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The Drivers in the Use of Online Whistle-Blowing Reporting Systems

Journal of Management Information Systems, Vol. 30(1), pp. 153-189 (doi: 10.2753/MIS0742-1222300105)

61 Pages Posted: 11 Nov 2012 Last revised: 9 Sep 2013

Paul Benjamin Lowry

The University of Hong Kong - School of Business

Gregory D Moody

University of Nevada, Las Vegas - College of Business

Dennis F. Galletta

University of Pittsburgh and Director, Katz Doctoral Program

Anthony Vance

Brigham Young University - Department of Information Systems

Date Written: September 30, 2013

Abstract

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.

Keywords: Whistle-blowing, whistle-blowing reporting systems, organizational governance, organizational failure, computer abuse, anonymity, trust, IT artifacts, risk

Suggested Citation

Lowry, Paul Benjamin and Moody, Gregory D and Galletta, Dennis F. and Vance, Anthony, The Drivers in the Use of Online Whistle-Blowing Reporting Systems (September 30, 2013). Journal of Management Information Systems, Vol. 30(1), pp. 153-189 (doi: 10.2753/MIS0742-1222300105). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2173643

Paul Benjamin Lowry (Contact Author)

The University of Hong Kong - School of Business ( email )

Meng Wah Complex
Pokfulam Road
Hong Kong
China

Gregory Daniel Moody

University of Nevada, Las Vegas - College of Business ( email )

United States

HOME PAGE: http://https://faculty.unlv.edu/wpmu/gmoody/

Dennis F. Galletta

University of Pittsburgh and Director, Katz Doctoral Program ( email )

Pittsburgh, PA 15260
United States

Anthony Vance

Brigham Young University - Department of Information Systems ( email )

510 Tanner Building
Marriott School
Provo, UT 84602
United States

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