Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 112, Issue 3, pp 437–451 | Cite as

The Influence of Subjective Norms on Whistle-Blowing: A Cross-Cultural Investigation

  • Pailin Trongmateerut
  • John T. SweeneyEmail author


This research consists of two studies with interrelated objectives. The purpose of the first study is to develop and validate scales measuring whistle-blowing subjective norms, attitudes, and intentions. The objective of the second study is to test a model of whistle-blowing intentions, motivated by the theory of reasoned action, across two contrasting cultures: the collectivist Thai and the individualistic American. To achieve cross-cultural comparisons, we first perform measurement and structural invariance tests. Tests of latent mean differences lend support for our prediction that individuals in the collectivist Thai culture have higher means on subjective norms, attitudes, and intentions for whistle-blowing than members of the individualist American culture. Our models indicate that subjective norms for whistle-blowing, even though significantly different for American and Thai participants, have a direct effect on whistle-blowing attitudes as well as direct and indirect effects on reporting intentions for both subject groups. Compared to American subjects, the whistle-blowing intentions of Thai participants are more strongly influenced by subjective norms for whistle-blowing.


Whistle-blowing Culture Invariance testing Subjective norms Theory of reasoned action 


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Accounting, Thammasat Business SchoolThammasat UniversityPranakorn, BangkokThailand
  2. 2.Department of Accounting & Information Systems, School of BusinessUniversity of KansasLawrenceUSA

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