Whistleblower Protection

Please have a look at our Guidelines and Etiquette, which apply to all conversations and the exchange of information within this group and its email list. By being part of this group, you agree that you have read and will follow the guidelines set for the VoC group and its email list.
The UNCAC Coalition Whistleblower Protection Working Group seeks to facilitate discussions,  information exchange, and joint advocacy among civil society experts working on this issue. Working Group Co-Chairs:

In case you are interested in joining the working group, please fill out this form.

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The Working Group hosts a dedicated email discussion list as well as several coordination calls per year.

Next Working Group Meeting: Thursday 17 October 2024, 16.00-17.30 Vienna time

Main Policy of the Working Group

  • Protection
  • Cooperation
  • Transparency
  • Accountability
  • Good Governance

Objectives

The objectives of the Working Group are to:
  1. Increase knowledge of group members on whistleblowers and other reporting persons and relevant policy fora.
  2. Promote collaboration among each other.
  3. Raise awareness of retaliation cases and the need to protect reporting persons.
  4. Promote the adoption and effective implementation of robust protection and reporting policies.

Relevant resources, activities and outputs:

Whistleblowing - Select Bibliography:

Whistleblowers and society 
  •    Arszulowicz, M., & Gasparski, W. W. (Eds.). (2017). Whistleblowing: In defense of proper action. Routledge.
  •    Bazzichelli, T. (2021). Whistleblowing for Change: Exposing Systems of Power and Injustice. Digital Society.
  •    Boot, E. R. (2019). The ethics of whistleblowing. Routledge.
  •    Engdahl, O., & Larsson, B. (2016). Duties to distrust: The decentring of economic and white-collar crime policing in Sweden. British Journal of Criminology, 56(3), 515-536. •    Gao, J., Greenberg, R., & Wong-On-Wing, B. (2015). Whistleblowing intentions of lower-level employees: The effect of reporting channel, bystanders, and wrongdoer power status. Journal of Business Ethics, 126(1), 85-99. •    Lewis, D., Brown, A. J., & Moberly, R. (2014). Whistleblowing, its importance, and the state of the research. In International handbook on whistleblowing research (pp. 1-34). Edward Elgar Publishing. •    Miceli, M. P., & Near, J. P. (2005). Standing up or standing by: What predicts blowing the whistle on organizational wrongdoing?. In Research in personnel and human resources management. Emerald Group Publishing Limited. 
  •    Mueller, T. (2020). Crisis of conscience: Whistleblowing in an age of fraud. Penguin. •    Sallaberry, J. D., Martínez-Conesa, I., & Flach, L. (2022). Whistleblowing in small and large accounting firms in Brazil. Small Business International Review, 6(2), e502. •    Savage, A., & Hyde, R. (2015). The response to whistleblowing by regulators: a practical perspective. Legal Studies, 35(3), 408-429. 
Definitions and legal frameworks
  •    Bok, S. (1980). Whistleblowing and professional responsibilities. In Ethics teaching in higher education (pp. 277-295). Springer, Boston, MA. 
  • Devine, T., & Katz, S. (2014) The National Security Whistleblower’s Tightrope: Legal Rights of Government Employees and Contractors, in Whistleblower, Leaks, and the Media, Rosenzweig, P., McNulty, T., and Shearer, E. (eds.), 81-105. Chicago: American Bar Association.
  • Farrell, D., & Petersen, J. C. (1982). Patterns of political behavior in organization. Academy of Management Review, 7(3), 403-412.
  •  Feinstein, S., Devine, T., Pender, K., Allen, C., Nawa, R., & Shepard, M. (2022). Are Whistleblowing Laws Working?: A Global Study of Whistleblower Protection Litigation. Government Accountability Project and International Bar Association. 
  •    Jubb, P. B. (1999). Whistleblowing: A restrictive definition and interpretation. Journal of Business Ethics, 21(1), 77-94.
  • Nader, R., Petkas, P. J., & Blackwell, K. (1972). Whistle blowing: The report of the conference on professional responsibility.
  • Near, J. P., & Miceli, M. P. (1985). Organizational dissidence: The case of whistle-blowing. Journal of business ethics, 4(1), 1-16. 
Motivation of whistleblower 
  •  Brown, A. J., Lewis, D., Moberly, R., & Vandekerckhove, W. (Eds.). (2014). International handbook on whistleblowing research. Edward Elgar Publishing.
  •  Cassematis, P. G., & Wortley, R. (2013). Prediction of whistleblowing or non-reporting observation: The role of personal and situational factors. Journal of business ethics, 117(3), 615-634.
  • Grant, C. (2002). Whistleblowers: Saints of secular culture. Journal of Business Ethics, 39(4), 391-399.
  • Near, J. P., Rehg, M. T., Van Scotter, J. R., & Miceli, M. P. (2004). Does type of wrongdoing affect the whistle-blowing process?. Business Ethics Quarterly, 14(2), 219-242.
  • Peeples, D. K., Stokes, P., & Wingfield, S. S. (2009). When the whistle is blown: Legal defenses and practical guidelines for managing reports of organizational misconduct. Business & Society, 48(4), 467-488.
  • Richardson, B. K., & Garner, J. (2019). Stakeholders’ attributions of whistleblowers: The effects of complicity and motives on perceptions of likeability, credibility, and legitimacy. International Journal of Business Communication.
  • Roberts, P. (2014). Motivations for whistleblowing: Personal, private and public interests. In International handbook on whistleblowing research. Edward Elgar Publishing.
  • Rothschild, J., & Miethe, T. D. (1999). Whistle-blower disclosures and management retaliation: The battle to control information about organization corruption. Work and occupations, 26(1), 107-128.
  • Thüsing, G., & Forst, G. (Eds.). (2016). Whistleblowing-A comparative study (Vol. 16). Springer. 
Characteristics of whistleblowers
  • Bjørkelo, B., Einarsen, S., & Matthiesen, S. B. (2010). Predicting proactive behaviour at work: Exploring the role of personality as an antecedent of whistleblowing behaviour. Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, 83(2), 371-394.
  • Brewer, G. A., & Selden, S. C. (1998). Whistle blowers in the federal civil service: New evidence of the public service ethic. Journal of public administration research and theory, 8(3), 413-440.
  • Cassematis, P. G., & Wortley, R. (2013). Prediction of whistleblowing or non-reporting observation: The role of personal and situational factors. Journal of business ethics, 117(3), 615-634.
  • Culiberg, B., & Mihelič, K. K. (2017). The evolution of whistleblowing studies: A critical review and research agenda. Journal of Business Ethics, 146(4), 787-803.
  • Dozier, J. B., & Miceli, M. P. (1985). Potential predictors of whistle-blowing: A prosocial behavior perspective. Academy of management Review, 10(4), 823-836.
  • Dworkin, T. M., & Baucus, M. S. (1998). Internal vs. external whistleblowers: A comparison of whistleblowering processes. Journal of business ethics, 17(12), 1281-1298.
  • Gundlach, M. J., Douglas, S. C., & Martinko, M. J. (2003). The decision to blow the whistle: A social information processing framework. Academy of management Review, 28(1), 107-123.
  • Park, H., Blenkinsopp, J., & Park, M. (2014). The influence of an observer’s value orientation and personality type on attitudes toward whistleblowing. Journal of business ethics, 120(1), 121-129.
  • Vadera, A. K., Aguilera, R. V., & Caza, B. B. (2009). Making sense of whistle-blowing’s antecedents: Learning from research on identity and ethics programs. Business Ethics Quarterly, 19(4), 553-586.
 Who blows the whistle?
  • Carson, A., & Farhall, K. (2018). Understanding collaborative investigative journalism in a “post-truth” age. Journalism Studies, 19(13), 1899-1911.
  •  Dyck, A., Morse, A., & Zingales, L. (2010). Who blows the whistle on corporate fraud?. The journal of finance, 65(6), 2213-2253.
  • Miceli, M. P., Dreyfus, S., & Near, J. P. (2014). Outsider ‘whistleblowers’: Conceptualizing and distinguishing ‘bell-ringing’behavior. In International handbook on whistleblowing research (pp. 71-94). Edward Elgar Publishing.
  • Miceli, M. P., Near, J. P., & Dworkin, T. M. (2008). Whistle-blowing in organizations. Psychology Press. 
Methods of Whistleblowing  
  •    Callahan, E. S., Dworkin, T. M., & Lewis, D. (2003). Whistleblowing: Australian, UK, and US Approaches to disclosure in the public interest. Va. J. Int’l L., 44, 879.
  • Donkin, M., Smith, R., & Brown, A. J. (2008). How do officials report? Internal and external whistleblowing. Whistleblowing in the Australian public sector, 83.
  • Lee, G., & Fargher, N. (2013). Companies’ use of whistle-blowing to detect fraud: An examination of corporate whistle-blowing policies. Journal of business ethics, 114(2), 283-295.
  • Lobel, O. (2012). Linking prevention, detection, and whistleblowing: Principles for designing effective reporting systems. S. Tex. L. Rev., 54, 37.
  • Savage, A., & Hyde, R. (2015). The response to whistleblowing by regulators: a practical perspective. Legal Studies, 35(3), 408-429. 
Retaliation against whistleblower 
  •    Alford, C. F. (2002). Whistleblowers: Broken lives and organizational power. Cornell University Press.
  •    Grant, C. (2002). Whistleblowers: Saints of secular culture. Journal of Business Ethics, 39(4), 391-399.
  •    Khan, J., Saeed, I., Zada, M., Ali, A., Contreras-Barraza, N., Salazar-Sepúlveda, G., & Vega-Muñoz, A. (2022). Examining whistleblowing intention: The influence of rationalization on wrongdoing and threat of retaliation. International journal of environmental research and public health, 19(3), 1752.
  •    Kohn, S. M. (2017). The new whistleblower’s handbook: A step-by-step guide to doing what’s right and protecting yourself. Rowman & Littlefield. •    Miceli, M. P., & Near, J. P. (1992). Blowing the whistle: The organizational and legal implications for companies and employees. Lexington Books. •    Near, J. P., Rehg, M. T., Van Scotter, J. R., & Miceli, M. P. (2004). Does type of wrongdoing affect the whistle-blowing process?. Business Ethics Quarterly, 14(2), 219-242. •    Smith, R. (2014). Whistleblowers and suffering. In International handbook on whistleblowing research. Edward Elgar Publishing. 
Rewards  
  • Dyck, A., Morse, A., & Zingales, L. (2010). Who blows the whistle on corporate fraud?. The journal of finance, 65(6), 2213-2253.
  •   Kölbel, R., & Herold, N. (2019). Whistle-blowing from the perspective of general strain theory. Deviant Behavior, 40(2), 139-155.
  • Peeples, D. K., Stokes, P., & Wingfield, S. S. (2009). When the whistle is blown: Legal defenses and practical guidelines for managing reports of organizational misconduct. Business & Society, 48(4), 467-488.
  • Westbrook, A. D. (2018). Cash for your conscience: Do whistleblower incentives improve enforcement of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. Wash. & Lee L. Rev., 75, 1097.
Reporting pathways and implications
  • Lewis, D., Brown, A. J., & Moberly, R. (2014). Whistleblowing, its importance, and the state of the research. In International handbook on whistleblowing research (pp. 1-34). Edward Elgar Publishing.
  • Miceli, M. P., & Near, J. D. TM (2008), Whistleblowing in Organizations.
  • Near, J. P., & Miceli, M. P. (1995). Effective-whistle blowing. Academy of management review, 20(3), 679-708 
 Other Resources: 
  • Transparency International. “Business Case for Speaking Up.” Transparency.org, https://www.transparency.org/en/publications/business-case-for-speaking-up.
  • U.S. House Office of the Whistleblower Ombuds. “Best Practice Whistleblower Legislation Standards.” whistleblower.house.gov, https://whistleblower.house.gov/best-practice-whistleblower-legislation-standards.
  • European Human Rights Advocacy Centre. (2022, March 31). Guidelines for Trauma-Informed Legal Practice for Lawyers Working with Adult Survivors of Human Rights Violations. Retrieved from https://ehrac.org.uk/en_gb/resources/guidelines-for-trauma-informed-legal-practice-for-lawyers-working-with-adult-survivors-of-human-rights-violations/
  • University of Greenwich. “Whistleblowing: the inside story. A study of the experiences of 1,000 whistleblowers” PDF document. Accessed at https://gala.gre.ac.uk/id/eprint/10296/1/Whistleblowing_-_the_inside_story_FINAL.pdf.
  • CPA Australia. “Corporate Sector Good Practice Guide to Whistleblowing Policies” Retrieved from https://governanceforstakeholders.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/Whistleblower-policy.pdf 
  • Oživení, z. s. (2022). Comparative Study on Whistleblower Protection. Ministry of Justice of the Czech Republic. Retrieved from https://governanceforstakeholders.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/04/Whistleblower-policy.pdf.
  • Banisar, David, Whistleblowing: International Standards and Developments (February 1, 2011). CORRUPTION AND TRANSPARENCY: DEBATING THE FRONTIERS BETWEEN STATE, MARKET AND SOCIETY, I. Sandoval, ed., World Bank-Institute for Social Research, UNAM, Washington, D.C., 2011, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1753180
  • Abazi, V. (2021). Guide to Internal Whistleblowing Channels and the Role of Trade Unions [Brochure]. EUROCADRES. Retrieved from https://www.eurocadres.eu/publications/guide-internal-whistleblowing-channels-and-the-role-of-trade-unions/ 
  • Smaili, N., Vandekerckhove, W. & Arroyo Pardo, P. Handling Whistleblowing Reports: The Complexity of the Double Agent. J Bus Ethics186, 279–292 (2023). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10551-022-05176-0  
  • Oxford University Press. (2018). Whistleblowing and Ethics in Health and Social Care. The British Journal of Social Work, 48(4), 1143-1155. Retrieved from Oxford Academic.
  • VAN WAEYENBERGE A, DAVIES Z. The Whistleblower Protection Directive (2019/1937): A Satisfactory but Incomplete System. European Journal of Risk Regulation. 2021;12(1):236-244. doi:10.1017/err.2020.87
  • Navex Global. (2024). Whistleblowing & Incident Management Benchmark Report 2024. Retrieved from Navex.
  • Iwai, Tatiana & Yeung, Luciana & Artes, Rinaldo. (2021). Voice or silence: antecedents of whistleblowing intentions. RAUSP Management Journal. ahead-of-print. 10.1108/RAUSP-06-2020-0126.
  • Mesmer-Magnus, J.R., Viswesvaran, C. Whistleblowing in Organizations: An Examination of Correlates of Whistleblowing Intentions, Actions, and Retaliation. J Bus Ethics 62, 277–297 (2005). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10551-005-0849-1
  • Whistleblowing International Network. (2022, November). Swiss Whistleblower Protection: Stalemate. Retrieved from Whistleblowing International Network.
  • Whistleblowing International Network. (2022, November). Demystifying Whistleblowing in the Armed Forces. Retrieved from Whistleblowing International Network.
  • Inman, Mary and Gonzalez, Carolina. (2020). Implementing the new EU Whistleblower Protection Directive: A Transposition Guide for Journalists. Retrieved from European Federation of Journalists.
  • Lewis,D. (2017) ‘Whistleblowing and the law of defamation: does the law strike a fair balance between the rights of whistleblowers, the media and alleged wrongdoers?’Industrial Law Journal. Vol 46. ISSN 0305-9332
  • Kierans, Lauren and Lewis, David  2016 “Using statutory guidance and codes of practice to build on whistleblowing legislation : the Irish experience” La Revue des droits de l’homme [Online], 10 | 2016.
  • Kierans, Lauren 2016. “Full Disclosure” 2016 (June) Irish Law Society Gazette 36.
  • Lewis, David, (with Vandekerckhove, W). (2016)‘Trade unions and whistleblowing process: an opportunity for strategic expansion’. Journal of Business Ethics. ISSN 0167-4544
  • Lewis, David 2016 ‘Remove the obstacles that prevent BME staff from whistleblowing’. Nursing Standard.
  • Kierans, Lauren.  2015. “Whistle While You Work: Protected Disclosures Act 2014” (2015) 2(2) IBLR 31.
  • Lewis, D 2015 “Is a public interest test for workplace whistleblowing in society’s interest?” International Journal of Law and Management Vol. 57. No.2. pp 141-158. 2015
  • Lewis, D, D’Angelo, A., & Clarke, L, 2015. “Industrial relations and the management of whistleblowing after the Francis report: what can be learned from the evidence?” Industrial Relations Journal, 46(4), pp. 312-327. 2015
  • Lewis, David  2014 (with Fasterling, B) “Leaks, legislation and freedom of speech: how can the law effectively promote public interest whistleblowing” International Labour Review. Vol 153 Issue 1 pages 71-92 ISSN 0020-7780
  • Lewis, David (with Clark, L and D’Angelo, A).2016. “Report of a staff survey on whistleblowing”. Middlesex University.
  • Quantitative research for the ‘Freedom to Speak Up’ independent review of whistleblowing in the NHS chaired by Sir Robert Francis QC. 2015. Prepared by Lewis, D, D’Angelo, A., & Clarke, L
  • Analysis of the responses submitted by nurses, midwives and health visitors etc to the Francis review of whistleblowing in the NHS. Research commissioned by the Nursing and Midwifery Council. 2015. Prepared by Lewis, D, D’Angelo, A., & Clarke, L
  • Lewis, David & Vandekerckhove, Wim (eds) 2017 Selected papers from the International Whistleblowing Research Network conference. London, International Whistleblowing Research Network.
  • Kierans, Lauren. 2017 “Protected Disclosures Act, 2014” in Employment Law (Bloomsbury Professional, Dublin).
  • Kierans, Lauren 2017 “The Irish Approach to Whistleblower Protection: The Protected Disclosures Act, 2014) in Les lanceurs d’alerte (LGDJ, France 2017).
  • Lewis, David 2017 “Eighteen years of whistleblowing legislation in the UK: are workers still inadequately protected? in Les lanceurs d’alerte. LGDJ, France/
  • Kierans Lauren and Kerr, Anthony 2017. “Protected Disclosures Act 2014, Annotated” (Round Hall, Dublin). (Forthcoming December).
  • Kierans, Lauren and Kerr, Anthony 2016, Irish Current Law Statutes Annotated:
  • Protected Disclosures Act, 2014 (Round Hall, Dublin).
  • Lewis, David and Vandekerckhove, Wim (eds) 2015 . “Developments in whistleblowing research 2015”. Ebook. International Whistleblowing Research Network.
  • Lewis, David (with Brown, AJ, Moberly, R, Vandekerckhove, W.( eds.) 2014. The International Whistleblowing Research Handbook. Cheltenham, Edward Elgar. E-ISBN 978 1 78100 679 5 
UNCAC Coalition Guidelines and Etiquette
Please have a look at our Guidelines and Etiquette, which apply to all conversations and the exchange of information within this group and its email list. By being part of this group, you agree that you have read and will follow the guidelines set for the VoC group and its email list.