whistleblower research

Search .edu sites for “whistleblower” and you get links to whistleblower reporting offices at universities. Search the academic literature and a robust body of whistleblower scholarship emerges.

For academics who want to add whistleblowing into their teaching, an Irish research team has set up a site to help. Led by Kate Kenny from NUI Galway, Ireland, the team offers videos, cases and slide shows. From their “Whistleblowing Impact” site.

We aim to change the terms of public debate on whistleblowing. There exists a persistent contradiction in how whistleblowers are perceived; on the one hand, they are acknowledged as a vital way in which corruption comes to light and yet, society does little to support the real-life struggles of the many whistleblowers who find themselves without a source of income and little prospect of finding work in their chosen career.

Our results provide empirical evidence that invites rethinking how we see and value whistleblowers, and how we can support them. Specific research questions included: 1) What are the costs of whistleblowing for those who leave their organization, both tangible and intangible? 2) What interventions can be developed that will provide support?, and 3) How can whistleblowing be reconceptualized in ways that emphasize the necessity of material and symbolic supports from society?


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