Whistle While You Work

Research in UK, US, France & Germany: Whistle-Blowing & Wikileaks

Strategic Communications

November 28, 2016

Whistle Shadow

Organisations need to review their ethical standards and internal communications policies as governments encourage whistleblowing and around a third of employees say that they would leak unethical behaviour by their employer.

As well as increasing the protection for employees who blow the whistle on their employers if they believe they are acting unethically, governments around the world are actively encouraging them to speak out. The US Supreme Court recently ruled that public employees cannot be dismissed for testifying about corruption they witness in government and that whistleblowers are protected under the First Amendment.

The British government has also made it clear that it wants to support and protect whistleblowers, provided that what they reveal is in the public interest. Meanwhile the WikiLeaks revelations over recent years have prompted public debate about what information governments keep secret and whether they should be forced to make it public.

Recent research by FTI Consulting shows that around a third of staff, both employees and managers, of publicly listed and private companies in the US, the UK, France and Germany would leak unethical behaviour by their employers. The figures are noticeably consistent across all four countries, ranging from 31% of staff in the UK to 37% in Germany and 28% of French managers to 39% of those in the US.

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