, Volume 6, Issue 7, pp 527-542

Oppositionists and group norms: The reciprocal influence of whistle-blowers and co-workers

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Abstract

Who blows the whistle — a “loner” or a well-liked “team player”? Which of them is more likely to lead a successful opposition to perceived organizational wrongdoing? The potential influence of co-worker pressures to conform on whistle-blowing activity or the likely effects of whistle-blowing on the group have not been addressed. This paper presents a preliminary model of whistle-blowing as an act of nonconformity. One implication is that the success of an opposition will depend on the characteristics of the whistle-blower and how the complaint is pursued. Specific hypotheses and general suggestions for future research and practice are offered.

David B. Greenberger is Assistant Professor of Management and Human Resources at Ohio State University. He has written papers on group dynamics, motivation, and vandalism. These papers have been published in Academy of Management Review, Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, Crime and Delinquency, and Journal of Nonverbal Behavior.
Marcia P. Miceli is Associate Professor at Ohio State University. She has published articles on whistle-blowing, which appeared in Academy of Management Journal, Personnel Psychology, Journal of Applied Psychology etc.
Debra J. Cohen is Assistant Professor of Management at George Mason University.