Whistleblowing – a litmus test of a firm’s culture
03 December 2019
Most people agree, in theory, that those who speak out in good faith against misconduct or malpractice in an organisation play a key role in promoting transparency and highlighting misconduct. However, in practice, employees hesitate to speak up for three main reasons: Lethargy (“nothing will change”); Apathy (“everyone knows it’s happening – so why should I be the one to call it out”) and Fear (“I can’t afford to lose my job; I don’t want to be shunned”). This article analyses these three reasons through the lens of a firm’s culture – with the aim of gaining a better understanding of the concerns on both sides, firm and whistleblower. We conclude that the way in which a firm deals with whistleblowing is a litmus test of the health of the firm’s culture more generally.
Sally Dewar, CEO of A&O Consulting