Encyclopedia of Business and Professional Ethics

Living Edition
| Editors: Deborah C Poff, Alex C. Michalos


  • Wim VandekerckhoveEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-23514-1_1126-1



The most commonly used definition of whistleblowing is: “disclosure by organization members (former or current) of illegal, immoral or illegitimate practices under the control of their employers, to persons or organizations that may be able to effect action” (Near and Miceli 1985: 4). Along with Terry Dworkin, Janet Near and Marcia Miceli can be seen as having laid the foundation of whistleblowing scholarship in the fields of, respectively, law, sociology, and psychology (see, e.g., Miceli et al. 2008). De George (1981, 1990) may be seen as one of the key business ethics scholars on the question when we have a moral duty to blow the whistle.

Shifting Views on Whistleblowing

Initial empirical scholarship on whistleblowing tried to determine demographical factors, personality characteristics, and situational determinants of whistleblowers, however without a very convincing consistency of findings...

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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2020

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of GreenwichLondonUK

Section editors and affiliations

  • Deborah C. Poff
    • 1
  1. 1.President, Leading with IntegrityOttawaCanada