What Makes You a Whistleblower? A Multi-Country Field Study on the Determinants of the Intention to Report Wrongdoing

Hengky Latan, Charbel Jose Chiappetta Jabbour*, Murad Ali, Ana Beatriz Lopes de Sousa Jabbour, Tan Vo-Thanh

*Corresponding author for this work

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Abstract

Whistleblowers have significantly shaped the state of contemporary society; in this context, this research sheds light on a persistently neglected research area: what are the key determinants of whistleblowing within government agencies? Taking a unique methodological approach, we combine evidence from two pieces of fieldwork, conducted using both primary and secondary data from the US and Indonesia. In Study 1, we use a large-scale survey conducted by the US Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB). Additional tests are conducted in Study 1, making comparisons between those who have and those who do not have whistleblowing experience. In Study 2, we replicate the survey conducted by the MSPB, using empirical data collected in Indonesia. We find a mixture of corroboration of previous results and unexpected findings between the two samples (US and Indonesia). The most relevant result is that perceived organizational protection has a significant positive effect on whistleblowing intention in the US sample, but a similar result was not found in the Indonesian sample. We argue that this difference is potentially due to the weakness of whistleblowing protection in Indonesia, which opens avenues for further understanding the role of societal cultures in protecting whistleblowers around the globe.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Business Ethics
Early online date25 Mar 2022
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 25 Mar 2022

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