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Whistle Blowing

Introduction  Emergence of corporation as a legal entity/person  Clinical analyses of corporation as a person led to its diagnosis as psychopath  Shareholders Theory: Managers confining decision-making to economic criteria for assets use and emergence of whistleblowers  Asset usage to be judged against broader desired outcomes and stakeholders approach .

immoral.Definitions of Whistle blowing  “Disclosure by organization members (former or current) of illegal. or illegitimate practices under control of employers to persons or organizations that may be able to effect action)  Dissenting act of public accusation against an organization which necessitates being disloyal to that organization .

Elements of Whistle blowing  Act of Disclosure of damaging news  Whistleblower  Subject of Disclosure  Target Organization held responsible  Disclosure Recipient  Outcome: Disclosure enters public domain .

 Difference between Information and Whistle blowing  Hirschman’s 3 responses to degenerative behavior in organizations 1) Exit( distancing from a problem) 2) Loyalty (customers and employees loyalty and choosing voicing over exit) 3) Voice(dissent voicing of extreme type is WB)  WB caused by purposive dissent: May be driven by Moral Obligation or by high-minded motives/emotions  WB and Role conflict leads to ethical dilemmas  2-fold dilemma: a) Personal versus Organizational Conflicts b) Loyalty to Organization versus Loyalty to Society Salient Features of Whistle blowing (henceforth WB) .

WB and Organizations  Highly negative impact  Weakening chain of command  Threat to effectiveness  Unsettle employees’ confidence and ability to use discretion  Need for right of public to know needs to be weighed against right of organization to maintain secrecy in some areas .

How?  Code of ethics and training on how to deal with ethical dilemmas  Information on steps required in communicating ethical concerns internally  Policy must be credible  Whistleblower not to suffer for using internal channels to report perceived wrongdoing  ‘Ethics safety net’: Chain of command can be circumvented and dealt with by an impartial organizational body .Case for Internal WB  Internal WB can serve society’s interests better.

The Insider  Should Jeffrey Wigand disclose his information?  Is it unethical to encourage another person to break his promise for grater social good  Should ‘60 minutes’ have succumbed to corporate interests and aired edited version .

Case Analysis  Is nicotine boosting an ethical practice of tobacco companies?  Is blowing the whistle justified in this case?  Is it ever justified? Were there alternative courses of action?  Unjust dismissal: Does being fired for ‘poor communication skills’ constitute unjust termination without cause? .

Utilitarian Considerations for Wigand Choices Pleasure Pain Impact on family benefits and confidentiality agreement Face lawsuit Damage to tobacco industry and employees Wigand will feel guilty Public hurt as tobacco cos will continue to act Utility High Utility Possible benefits to public greater than costs Disclose Great Benefits to public Satisfies desire to hurt Brown & Williamson Not Family Benefits Disclose Tobacco Industry and people protected Low Utility Exposure to harm public .

I shouldn’t breach contract even if I knew it forces me to uphold false statements 2. I should breach if I knew it forces me to upheld false statements  Does this contradict with universal law to keep promise?  Upholding integrity of contract= Keeping promises .Motivations for Wigand  Kantian Perspective  Moral Duty: Must act from a duty to protect public health  What was his intentions? a) Anger at company for acting with impunity or b) Good of humanity  Would he have disclosed if he would not have been fired?  Principle of Universality and Hyper norm of Keeping promises 1.

Utilitarian Considerations for Lowell Bergman Choices To Encourage Pleasure Possible benefits to people Uphold integrity of ‘60 mnts’ Pain Impact on Wigand’s family Lawsuit against CBS Damage to tobacco industry ‘60 mnts’ and CBS to lose credibility Public will never find out truth Utility Low to medium Benefits to public uncertain Costs more evident Medium to high utility Knows pleasure but not pain Not encourage Wigand and family keep benefits Tobacco industry protected .

Motives ? Principle of humanity: Treating people not as means but as end One ought not to encourage another person to break promise even if there is a greater social good For greater social good one ought to encourage other person to break promise .Motivations for Lowell Bergman Moral Duty One must act from moral duty.

 1st Rule: Equal right to all with similar system of liberty for all  Company’s right to privacy versus Right of society to know truth  2nd Rule a)Difference principle b) Attached to all offices and positions to all under conditions of fair equality and opportunity  Will it make life better off for people who are now worst off? Rawls’ Theory of Justice as Fairness .

Recap Should Wigand Disclose Information? Utilitarian Kantian Disclose: Benefits> Costs to public Don’t Disclose: Violates Universal Law to Keep Promises Should Bergman encourage Brigand to disclose information? Not Encourage: Knows pleasure but not pain Not Encourage: Encourage others to break promises unethical Encourage: Right to know truth Rawlsian The Class Stand? .

3 million Potential lawsuit to Westinghouse Medium to high: Lots of pain by them but public to benefit greatly Agree Keep jobs Gain $5.Should ‘60 mnts’ have succumbed to Corporate Interests? Choices Pleasure Pain Utility Don’t agree Public welfare Maintain professional integrity Lose jobs Lose $5.3 million High Utility Integrity and professionalism maintained and more options Negotiate Maintain Integrity and Professionalism Increase options available .3 million Avoid lawsuit Sale to Westinghouse Guilt Low Utility: Lots Damage CBS of pain to public NEWS reputation as a whole Lose credibility Public oblivious of information Lose jobs Lose $5.


9 million or $1.Few Issues to Ponder Upon  If you were General Counsel or President of CBS News would you be swayed by $3.4 million  What's the value or worth of ethics?  Is there price that can match that value?  Is it moral for companies to produce and sell that which is harmful ? .