Whistleblowing Ethics Essay
Perhaps, one of the most difficult things to do when inside an organizational setting is saying when “enough is enough”. Although it is true that every organization, workplace, or community has their own flaws, just as how they have their own rules, delineating what is ‘going beyond’ is not exactly as easy as it sounds like. Therefore, any individual regardless of his/her rank, gender, class, age, etc. must know when to blow the whistle. In order to do this, one must first know what is enough and even this is subject to limitations.
As for many experts out there, the belief is that the threshold for any flaws or mistakes that are committed within an organization is if it poses certain threats to the organization and the people around it, or if it crosses and undermines the ‘rule of law’ as established by the society. In this equation, one might ask about the ethics of whistleblowing in doing this, since at times conflicts might arise in terms of “loyalties” especially if the one doing the mishaps is a friend, colleague, or even a family member. However, by looking into it, it is also more unethical to let someone get away with their wrongdoings since it might not only damage the system or the organizations as well as the people around them but even the people that someone cares for. Nevertheless, this debate is still ongoing today with plenty of people being subscribed to both sides.
In other situations, it might still be harder to blow the whistle, even if ethics is not on the line. This is most likely due to inefficiencies and other difficulties in the system itself such as the method or channels of reporting or even the hierarchy with which to do things. Perhaps, the system is too bureaucratic that it takes a long time for these reports to go to the right people who could and would do the necessary steps to cull these mishaps. In these cases, people how directly sees the action might feel a little bit frustrated and ‘unethical’ since their actions are not reaping what is needed. Thus, this is the time when these people do unnecessary steps which, instead of helping improve the situation, lead to conflicts and other actions which lead to other circumstances that make matters worse.
These actions are usually outside of simply “whistle blowing” (which is healthy in the correct circumstances) are now also considered unethical since they try to circumvent the established laws are regulations which are designed to deal with these matters. Although there are other people who believe that these are acts of heroism, most of the times stepping out of these established notions could just lead to more trouble and are not exactly the best thing to do in order to bring peace and harmony to each and every member of the organization.
Nonetheless, ethics in itself is a very complicated matter. What might seem ethical for one person, might not be for another. This is exactly the case for whistleblowing and thus for any individual who experiences this dilemma, it is important to know that when confused and frustrated about what to do, the best way might be to stick with the pre-established channels and methods of dealing with conflict. By doing this, not only are these individuals doing their part for the betterment of society, they are also doing a part for both the betterment of themselves (as a member of a collection of individuals) and at times, the betterment of the people whom they “blow the whistle” for.