What is it?
One major difficulty surrounding the issue of whistle blowing is the definition of it. Many attempts have been made and several differ slightly. One example is made by Michelle Allen in which she states in her internet article, "Whistle Blowing" that "Whistle Blowing is when someone tells the truth about misconduct by an individual or company that is against the law or more importantly endanger the lives of others." I will use a good working definition as whistle-blowing occurs when a current or former employee discloses that illegal, immoral or illegitimate practices within a company.
Is it ever justified? Why or why not?
In an article written by John Davies, "Blowing the Whistle in Public", he states "Recently, a senior pilot with a world famous airline wrote to the press with a claim that was guaranteed to cause concern to all flyers.
He said that in the interests of economy, it was the practice of his company to restrict the flow of fresh air within cabins. Apart from the discomfort that the re-circulation of air may cause to passengers, particularly on long-haul flights, it has since been claimed that this practice may lead directly to the transmissions of infections." In this situation, whistle-blowing pits loyalty to the organization against loyalty to the public interest. In order to justify whistle-blowing, I feel you must first ask yourself two questions. The first, have all internal channels been exhausted? Secondly, does the public interest involve life, health, safety, the environment, or is it wasting tax dollars. If your answer to both these questions, I feel whistle-blowing is justified.
What are the moral & ethical issues?
From early childhood, our parents have taught us what is right and wrong. Each of us have a varying degree...