The Moderating Influence of Behavioral Integrity on the Effect of Reporting Channel Administration and Bystander Awareness on Whistleblowing Intentions

Posted: 21 Mar 2017

See all articles by Jingyu Gao

Jingyu Gao

Renmin University of China

Bernard Wong-On-Wing

Washington State University

Date Written: March 17, 2017

Abstract

Behavioral integrity refers to the perceived pattern of alignment between an actor's words and deeds. This study examines the influence of management’s behavioral integrity with respect to whistleblowing, on employees’ intention to report fraudulent acts.

We posit that high behavioral integrity will:

(1) overcome the effect of perceived low assurance of whistleblower anonymity associated with internally administered reporting channels, and

(2) improve the low likelihood of whistleblowing due to the bystander effect.

The results of our experiment indicate that when behavioral integrity is high (low), the likelihood of whistleblowing is significantly higher (lower) if the reporting channel is administered internally than if it is administered externally. Similarly, when management’s behavioral integrity is high (low), whistleblowing intentions are stronger (weaker) when bystanders are aware of the would-be whistleblower’s knowledge of the fraud than when they are not aware. We discuss implications for research and practice.

Keywords: Behavioral Integrity, Whistleblowing Intention, Reporting Channel Administration, Bystander Awareness

JEL Classification: M49

Suggested Citation

Gao, Jingyu and Wong-On-Wing, Bernard, The Moderating Influence of Behavioral Integrity on the Effect of Reporting Channel Administration and Bystander Awareness on Whistleblowing Intentions (March 17, 2017). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2937489

Jingyu Gao (Contact Author)

Renmin University of China ( email )

Beijing
China

Bernard Wong-On-Wing

Washington State University ( email )

Wilson Rd.
College of Business
Pullman, WA 99164
United States

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