Question

Research a story of whistle-blowing. Relate what “your” whistle-blower did with the seven steps recommended in the chapter. What have you learned from the comparison?

Answer

Whistle-blowing

In the recent period, whistle-blowing has emerged as a popular method of exposing malpractices in organizations. Whistle-blowers are those who expose fraud. On some occasions, whistle-blowers have experienced retaliatory action from organizations and individuals exposed of fraud. This has necessitated governments to develop whistle-blower protection guidelines. In 2010, Cheryl D. Eckard exposed irregularities at GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) pharmaceutical company. The company had for years sold contaminated pharmaceutical products and ineffective antidepressants. Cheryl D. Eckard was the quality manager at the company during the time. After notifying the company of the contamination issues, the company terminated her employment instead of resolving the issues she highlighted.

In the seven steps of “how to blow the whistle”, the whistle-blower should first notify the manager just like Eckard did. If the manager fails to take note, the whistle-blower should make another approach such as writing a memo in order to get the attention of the managers. The second step involves discussing the issue with family members. This is because the issue will likely impact the family. The next step is to “take it to the next level”. This involves using more concrete means in trying to get the management’s attention. For instance, one may request a meeting with the management to discuss the issues. If this fails, then it’s time to notify the company’s ethics department. At this stage, it is important to establish whether the country has elaborate whistle-blower protection policy. Such a policy would have protected Eckard from being sacked from her job.

The fifth step involves seeking support from friends in the company or from other departments that may be willing to help solve the issue. For instance in her case, Eckard could approach the quality control department for help. In step six, the whistle-blower should seek help from relevant authorities outside the company. This is the action that Ecakrd took. Lastly, it may be advisable to leave the company. Majority of whistle-blowers experience retaliatory actions from management and other employees.

 

References

Harris, G., & Wilson, D. (2010, Oct. 26). Glaxo to Pay $750 Million for Sale of Bad Products.     The New York Times.

Treviño, L. K., & Nelson, K. A. (2011). Managing business ethics: Straight talk about how to do             it right. New York: John Wiley.

Personal Ethics Development

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