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Posted on April 19th, 2012, by

Whistleblowing cases have always caused heated disputes. There are usually to opposite points of view, concerning the problem. There are people who support the whistleblower, arguing that all the mistakes and willful neglect of one’s duties should be punished. On the other hand, many people stick to the opinion that whistleblowing is a mean and unethical action.

Recently I have heard about one of the whistleblowing cases in a supermarket, when a salesman drew the attention of the administration of the supermarket to the fact that his fellow-worker was constantly late for his work. As a result, this person was fired. The whistle-blower did it anonymously, but later on the truth was revealed. This salesman motivated his whistleblowing by the obvious damage to the supermarket. Since his fellow worker was late, one of the cash desks was closed and there were long queues in the supermarket, which irritated the customers.

If to analyze the ethical reasons of the salesman action, the main argument for his deed might be the desire to work effectively for the prestige of the supermarket. However, this reason does not seem quite logical. Moreover, it seems obvious that the whistle-blower simply did not want to perform the work of his partner and thought it unfair that his coming late was not ever noticed by the administration. In my opinion, these feelings urged the whistle-blower to complain about the lack of discipline of his co-worker.

Another weighty argument to judge the deed of this salesman is the result of his whistleblowing. It is apparent that he knew the consequences of his complaint since he could knew the reaction of the manager to such behavior.

Certainly we should acknowledge that there are people who always and everywhere struggle for the truth. They fight for justice just because they consider it their duty. Even when their own interests are not infringed, such kind of people would do everything to right a wrong. Such people are very useful for companies and many of managers encourage internal whistleblowing in an enterprise. This is done “to encourage employees to bring ethical and legal violations they are aware of to an internal authority so that action can be taken immediately to resolve the problem”¯ (Ravishankar, 2003).

However, these actions result in unhealthy atmosphere in the company. The employees do not trust each other, they see a whistle-blower in each and every person. Thus, morbid relations harm the performance in the company and might lead to the worsening of the productivity.

Returning to the considered case, if I were this salesman, I would not resort to whistleblowing because I think it is highly unethical. I would try to warn the person about possible consequences of his late comings in case the manager noticed it. If the situation was uncomfortable for me and created problems for me, I would speak to my workmate seriously, in order to explain him all the inconveniences.

To make a conclusion, in my opinion whistleblowing ruins good relations among colleagues. It might be considered profitable for companies and for customers. Still, it shows the essence of a person. I am inclined to believe that only mean and unscrupulous people are able to complain anonymously about some mistakes of other people.

Whistleblowing should not be encouraged as it contributes to the destruction of ethical principles in people.

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