The Moderating Influence of Behavioral Integrity on the Effect of Reporting Channel Administration and Bystander Awareness on Whistleblowing Intentions
Posted: 21 Mar 2017
Date Written: March 17, 2017
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: Suggested Citation