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Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 152, Issue 1, pp 15–25 | Cite as

Whistleblowing and Information Ethics: Facilitation, Entropy, and Ecopoiesis

  • Wim Vandekerckhove
Article

Abstract

This paper analyses whistleblowing from the perspective of Floridi’s information ethics (IE). Although there is a vast body of literature on whistleblowing using micro-ethical (egopoietic) or meso-ethical (sociopoietic) frameworks, whistleblowing has previously not been researched using a macro-ethical or ecopoietic framework. This paper is the first to explicitly do so. Empirical research suggests whistleblowing is a process rather than a single decision and action. I argue this process evolves depending on how whistleblowing is facilitated (positively or negatively) throughout that process, i.e. responding to whistleblowers and providing information about whistleblowing activity. The paper develops a typology of whistleblowing facilitation to complement Floridi’s IE. The findings suggest that for whistleblowing to be beneficial to the informational environment, facilitation must filter out untrue whistleblowing, and achieve closure with the whistleblower, especially when whistleblowing is mistaken or deliberately false. I also find that publishing information about whistleblowing activity can be beneficial for the informational environment, but only if all organizations or all regulators do so.

Keywords

Ecopoiesis Floridi Information ethics Whistleblowing 

Notes

Funding

This research was funded by the University of Greenwich, Business School, Work and Employment Relations Unit (WERU).

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The author confirms there is no conflict of interest.

Research Involving Human and Animal Participants

This research did not involve human participants and/or animals.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of GreenwichBusiness SchoolLondonUK

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