, Volume 112, Issue 4, pp 597-607

Could the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 be Helpful in Reforming Corporate America? An Investigation on Financial Bounties and Whistle-Blowing Behaviors in the Private Sector

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Abstract

The purpose of this study is to investigate whether the availability of financial bounties and anonymous reporting channels impact individuals’ general reporting intentions of questionable acts and whether the availability of financial bounties will prompt people to reveal their identities. The recent passage of the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act of 2010 creates a financial bounty for whistle-blowers. In addition, SOX requires companies to provide employees with an anonymous reporting channel option. It is unclear of the effect of these provisions as they relate to whistle-blowing. Our results indicate that a financial bounty has the potential to increase participants’ propensity to report questionable acts and their willingness to reveal their identities when reporting, but the availability of an anonymous reporting channel does not affect participants’ propensity to report questionable acts. These findings could potentially help corporate management, government policy makers and accounting researchers to assess the effectiveness of their internal compliance programs and help determine if financial bounties in the private sector could encourage whistle-blowing.