Critical Perspectives on the Ethical Merits of Whistle Blowing in South Africa

By Nkosinathi Owen Sotshangane.

Published by The Social Sciences Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Nowadays, whistle blowing entails an ethical dilemma as the individual considering becoming a whistle blower becomes divided into two competing loyalties, loyalty to the organization and loyalty to employee’s professionalism. For example, when workers see some unethical, immoral or illegal practices within their organizations, they have two options: Firstly, they would do nothing because they believe that silence, that is, keeping your mouth shut, is the option which is less risky. To these employees blowing a whistle to a wrongdoing is not worthy it. Alternatively, there are employees who would risk their lives, their careers, and their family’s security and attempt to disclose what they believe to be wrongdoing in the organization because they find it worth it to do so. Given this dichotomy, workers encounter difficulties when they have information that may harm their organizations. What morally ought to be done in such cases? From the South African ethical point of view, how worthy or rewarding it is to blow the whistle to an identified wrongdoing?

Keywords: Whistle Blowing, Employees, Organizations, Public Service, Workplaces, Loyalty, Wrongdoing, Malpractice, Corruption, Fraud, Retaliation, Rewarding, Code of Ethics, Morality, South Africa

International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences, Volume 4, Issue 5, pp.295-302. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.449MB).

Nkosinathi Owen Sotshangane

Senior Research Associate, Research Resource Centre, Nelson Mandela Drive Campus, Walter Sisulu University, Mthatha, South Africa

A Senior Research Associate, Directorate of Research Development, Walter Sisulu University (WSU), South Africa, has publications, most in Philosophy (Moral Philosophy and Ethics)and he is currently doing a Doctoral Studies in Philosophy (D.Litt et Phil)with the University of Fort Hare (UFH).

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