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According to the UiTM portal, Universiti Teknologi MARA or better known as UiTM is one of the popular local institution in Malaysia. UiTM basically is the largest institution of higher learning in terms of size and population of its students. It has experienced phenomenal growth since its first setting up in 1956 and still growing until now. This university is committed to helping Bumiputera students to achieve the highest scholarly level and to prepare them for careers in public and professional practice in various fields. Its formation is based on a vision of outstanding scholarship and academic excellence that is capable of providing leadership in various arenas. This university has expanded nationwide with 12 branch campuses, three satellite campuses, 9 city campuses and 21 affiliated colleges. One of it is UiTM Arau, Perlis.
As the third oldest branch campus, UiTM Perlis is also the largest UiTM branch campus, after the main campus in Shah Alam. It is a premier institution of higher learning in Perlis. It was officially established on 5 July 1974, with a pioneer intake 258 students, undergoing 1 preparatory course and 5 diploma programmes.
Now, UiTM Perlis has experienced rapid academic progress as well as continuous development in its physical infrastructure. 29 programmed, including 9 degree programmed, 20 diploma programmed are offered by the 7 faculties. Being the largest branch campus, its total full-time student enrolment is 6747. The number of staff is 755, of whom 371 are academic staff, while 384 are non-academic staff. The campus provides various facilities such as 7 male residential halls, 7 female residential halls, dining halls, a library, 82 classrooms, 5 lecture halls, 17 science laboratories, 14 computer laboratories, 2 language laboratories, 7 engineering workshops, a main hall, the mosque, a mini-stadium, and a gymnasium. A number of these facilities namely, the hostels, the main hall and the gymnasium are rented out to the public.
Does the actions of sabotage, high self-awareness to do the right thing, ethical climate situation and job classification of the job inside an organization gives impacts towards the willingness to commit internal whistle blowing inside an organization?
There are several objectives of this study :
To study the relationship between the willingness of internal whistleblowers among Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) staffs and intention to sabotage.
To study the relationship between the willingness of internal whistleblowers among Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) staffs and self-awareness level of the whistleblowers.
To study the relationship between the willingness of internal whistleblowers among Universiti Teknologi MARA (UiTM) staffs and ethical climate of the organization.
Introduction (case, law, history etc)
Whistleblowing can occur in most organizations. However, different countries treated this action differently. More than 30 countries have adopted a particular act to protect whistleblower. Others also have implemented laws such as labor laws and public sector employment rules to protect the whistleblower (Banisar, 2006). For example, Malaysia implemented Whistleblower Protection Act 2010 (WPA) to protect whistleblower from retaliation of employers. It is also aimed to combat corruption by encouraging employees in public and private sectors who have a valid evidence on the wrongdoings or improper conducts by the organization.
It is necessary for the whistleblower to control and study all the facts, records and documentary evidence to make sure that there is no doubt regarding the act (Chiu ,2002). When there is an illegal action occur within an organization, there might be someone who initiates the illegal action and there might also be other employees who compromise and support the illegal action. According to a six years study of 64 whistleblowers in United States, ethical resisters was driven to tell about the whistleblowing because they had experienced a critical violation of legal or ethical standards (Vinten, 2000). Whistleblowers sometimes feel that it is their responsibility to blow the whistle so that the misconduct can be fix and there would be no more intention to do illegal actions as others would learn that misconduct is not allowed in organizations.
In the United States, several laws have been implemented and each laws differ in the subject matter of the whistleblowing. For example, the Clean Water Act (CWA), Lloyd-La Follette Act (1912), Clean Air Act (1990) and Surface Transportation Assistance Act (1982) cover whistleblowers who encounter problems which employer after blowing the whistle on issues covered by the act. Other than that, Wendell H.Ford Aviation Investment and Reform Act for the 21st Century and Military Whistleblower Protection Act only protect whistleblower in certain group of services such as Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and air industry employees and also the United States Armed Forces. An autonomous body for whistleblowing investigation called Office of Special Counsel was also set up by the Whistleblower Protection Act 1989 in United States (Banisar, 2006) to protect national employees and others from banned personnel practices.
According to Tsahuridu and Vandekerckhove (2008), increased in court cases is affected by the increased of protection for whistleblowers that included in the United States's legislation and this situation push the judges to impose secrecy agreements against whistleblowers (Dworkin and Callahan, 1998). There is also increasing demands in United States especially in the national security sector that push reporters to disclose their sources followed by other serious disclosure of misconduct such as alleged (Central Intelligence Agency) CIA torture camps and illegal electronic surveillance by the National Security Agency (Banisar, 2006). There are still many whistleblowers even in non-developing countries such as the People's Republic of China and the government called them counter-revolutionaries which is the Chinese name for treason (Vinten, 1993). Whistleblowers tend to be everywhere across the nations, countries, organizations and even in divisional areas within organizations.
Whistle-blowing is an act of reporting misconduct within organization to other party whether internally or externally. According to Banisar (2006) , it can be a behavior that allow a person to speak out against corruption to solve internal management contention. US consumer activist Ralph Nader (1971) agrees that whistle blowing is :
" An act of a man or woman who, believing that the public interest overrides the interest of the organization he serves, blows the whistle that the organization is involved in corrupt, illegal, fraudulent or harmful activity" (Banisar, 2006).
According to Banisar (2006) and Chiu (2002), whistleblowing is the disclosure of illegal, wrongdoings and unethical practices by former or existing employees to parties that have the rights to take actions (Near and Miceli, 1985, p.4 ; US academics Marcia P. Miceli and Janet P.Near). As Vinten (2000) noted, whistleblowing is:
"the act of disclosing any information that an employee reasonably believes evidences a violation of any law, rule or regulation, mismanagement, corruption, abuse of authority, or threat to public health and safety at the worksite" (Peters and Branch, 1972).
Other organizations and associations also have their own definition of whistleblowing. Dallow Community Nursery Luton defines whistle blowing as a word that is used for an employee arguing on the practices and rules in their workplace ( nurseryluton.co.uk). According to the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE), whistleblowing is a term used for what is lawfully recognized as a Public Interest Disclosure, which is when an employee discloses information about unethical practice or wrongdoing they find occurring in the school.
The word of whistle blowing might be infamous among the educated people here in Malaysia. However, there are some cases that involved whistle blowing that come across in Malaysian context. Whistle blowing can be considered as positive actions or negative actions. People who convinced that whistleblowing is an ethical action tend to have the behavioral intention to disclose the illegal practices by a peer or employer while people who convinced that whistleblowing is an unethical action have less behavioral intention to report the illegal practices (Chiu, 2002).
Whistleblowers have been known as heroes because they disclose wrongdoing and fraud in their organizations and help to avoid any other fault that may harm the organization that can lead to disasters (Banisar, 2006). A whistleblower is not really a person who creates trouble (Chiu, 2002) because they sometimes helps to reduce corruption and fraud that happen in the organization. Usually, employees are the first to detect any misconduct and whistleblowing can be an early sign for employers that the organization have some problems that should be corrected before it becomes worst (Banisar, 2006). Response to the report of misconduct will be treated differently among organizations. Some organizations will make retaliation in response to the report while some organizations will try to deal in a positive way and take corrective actions if necessary.
However, Chinese model employee view whistleblowing as unacceptable and unethical behavior (Chiu, 2002). Whistleblowing can cause problems such as invasion of privacy and weakening the trust, creating chaos and suspicion among employees and employer that can affect the functions of the organization (Canadian Nurses Association ,1999). People who believes that whistleblowing is an unethical behavior has the perception that whistleblowing creates problems that should be avoided within an organization. Thus, most people consider whistleblowing as a negative action that employees should not do (Chiu, 2002).
Characteristics of whistleblowers
According to Canadian Nurses Association (1999) , whistleblowers are individual who discloses negligence, abuses or harms such as professional misconduct or incompetence that occur in the organization they work. A literal whistleblower tend to believe that it is important to protect the wider interests and are less concerned with self-interest, have a high sense of self-efficacy and locus of control, and have more than average need to control their environment (Chiu, 2002). Most employees who blow the whistle have some courage to do as the act can harm their status in the organization and lead to other serious accusations even though there may be some acts that can protect them.
Employees who blow the whistle must have the intention to do it for a long time as they need to have strong evidence before they can blow the whistle. So, intention and its antecedent, judgment will be crucial in the psychological decision-making process of a person who wants to blow the whistle (Zhang, Chiu & Wei, 2009). Whistleblowing, whether it is the free will, voluntary action or determinism, requires a person to be a moral agent who is accountable, capable and willing not to be fully ascertained by the organizational means and ends and believe that disclosures will make the organization take actions to correct the wrongdoings (Tsahuridu & Vandekerckhove, 2008).
Types of whistle-blowing
There are two major types of whistle blowing which are internal whistle blowing and external whistle blowing. Internal whistle blowing is defined as the disclosure from the current or former employees of the misconduct to other fellow employee supervisor or powerful people within the organization (Cook, 2008; Chiu, 2002; Tran, 2010). Some organization encourage internal whistle blowing to help the management remove unwanted problems that may harm the securities, success and work-flow of the organization.
Employees in some states are required to depend on internal channels or reporting the misconduct to people in the organization that have the power to settle the problem while other states give employees a choice to report the misconduct internally or externally (Dworkin&Baucus,1998). Some employees perceived that it is more appropriate to blow the whistle internally than externally as it likely to cause negative perception toward the organization.
Meanwhile, external whistle blowing often happen when the whistle blower inside the organization itself reveals the misconduct by the organization to media press or outsiders. Managers commonly tried to put a doubt on external whistleblowers by destroying evidence of misconduct, give poor performance record for the employee even the employee show a great job performance in the evaluation or harassing the whistleblower (Dworkin & Baucus, 1998). An external whistleblower may choose external channel especially when the wrongdoings of the organization may harm the securities of the community.
According to Canadian Nurses Association (1999), blowing the whistle about an organization externally is the original definition of the term "whistleblowing", comparing the act to the strident sound of a whistle. Employees who prefer to report externally likely have received strong evidence despite such actions (Dworkin & Baucus, 1998).
Analoui (1995) view sabotage as the conflict that arises which related to clashes of interests and values at work. It usually arises upon when the management refuses to fulfill the needs and wants of the employees. Sabotage can be bad for an organization if it is not being treated early. Analoui also add that they are three types of workplace sabotage that frequently occur which are destruction, inaction and wastage. But not only that, the act of sabotage can be also called sabotage if it can damage, destroy or targeting any individuals or groups that have its importance value which belongs to the management.
Sabotage and whistle-blowing
Referred to the act of whistle-blowing, it also an act which can destroy or causes damage to certain individuals in the organization and the organization itself. Thus, we can call whistle-blowing as one of the act of sabotage. However the question that remains to be answer is why this act happened. Does by doing whistle-blowing, the whistle-blower will gain profit or money from it? It might be one of the reason like being said by Easterly (2006), whoever held that money spent on the developing world is vast and the effects are negligence (Francis and Armstrong, 2011). Does whistler-blower doing this act for reasonable reasons?
H1 - Employees that would like to do sabotage inside the organization
will have high willingness to commit internal whistle blowing.
Self-awareness is having a clear perception of your personality, including strengths, weaknesses, thoughts, beliefs, motivation, and emotions (Pathway to Happiness, n.d) and the capacity to become the object of one's won attention (Morin, 2006). Williams (n.d) wrote that they are five key areas in self-awareness that should be aware which are personality, values, habits, need and emotions. Personality is the characteristic of a person that is unique and may be differ from each other. Values constitute the things or situation that we put at the top of priority and we will try very hard to achieve it. Meanwhile, habits is the daily routine that we always do and sometimes we keep repeats it without consciously aware of it. Need refers to the essential and valuable thing that we need in life. For example needs of belongings, needs to feel secure and needs of achievement. The last key area is emotions. This emotion relates with the emotional intelligence which later can lead to high understanding of any internal process that related with emotional experience.
Self-awareness and whistle-blowing
A series of studies by the Ethics Resources Center in the US has found that the willingness by private sector employees to reveal wrongdoing to management increased approximately 16 percent from the year 1994 to 2003. However, in 2005 the survey shows a decreased where it's only show 55 percent of the employees willing to do whistle-blowing (Banisar, 2006). From the research, it is proven that the employee self-awareness to disclosed wrongdoing is high. But due to some circumstances, as the times keep moving, they did not want to involve in whistle-blowing. Banisar further added that the decreasing happens due to the external pressure that being faced by the employees. One of it is the pressure from the party involved in conduct the wrongdoings that pressures the employee to rescind their statement and refrain from further disclosures. Eventually, this pressure causes the employee to resign and it lead others to avoid doing whistle-blowing. However should employees just keep it silence even though they know wrongdoings act are being conducted? Should the employees refrain themselves from telling others just because they afraid of the consequences?
H2 - Employees with high self-awareness to do the right thing will
have high willingness to commit internal whistle blowing.
Ethics is a common thing in human lives. Even since child, every person had been taught how to behave ethical by the parents or guardian. Not differ from it, ethical in an organization plays a bigger role especially because it can affect the organizations as well as the person involves. According to Riivari, Lamsa, Kujala and Heiskanen (2012), high ethical standards are important for an organization because it is crucial for the organization to maintain their function and social well-being. They cited the definition of ethical climate by Victor and Cullen (1988) as the perceptions and aspects that will determine the way of behavior. Ethical climate also can be defined as the informal interpreter and judge of an individual's organizational behavior, a catalyst, or at least a potentially forceful moderator of an individual's organizational behavior (Laratta, 2009). In simple word, the perceptions and aspects in the organization that a person has will later affect the behavior of him or her.
Ethical climate and whistle-blowing
Focus on the whistle-blowing itself, it can be called as harmful act but in the same time is a positively brave act done by a person. Ethical climate is being implemented in an organization to help the employees to avoid doing harmful things to the organization. Zhang, Chiu and Wei (2009) also agreed in their researches that if the organization conduct an ethical organization, the like hood of wrongdoing happens are low. So, what does trigger a person to conduct whistle-blowing even though many sees it as harmful act? This is what being tried to discuss in this paper.
H3 - The ethical climate inside an organization will give the impact
towards the employees to commit internal whistle blowing.
3.1 Primary resources
Primary resources refer to information obtained first-hand by the researcher on the variables of interest for the specific purpose of the study (Sakaran & Bougie, 2010). For example of types of primary resources that being discussed in their books are interviewed questionnaire, and observation. Thus, primary resources can be said the resources that being collected which the information are not yet being analyze by the researcher.
3.1.1 Data Collection Method
In this research, the method that being used is the questionnaire. Questionnaire is the set of question that being asked to the respondent regarding the variables. The question in the questionnaire is called an item. In this questionnaire, there are five sections that being asked.
Section I - Personal Information
In personal information, the questions that being asked is regarding their personal details but it is been keep anonymous. For example of the questions are their gender, age and status of marital.
Section II - Whistle-blowing
In this section, the question that being asked related to know what is the degree of knowledge that each respondents have about whistle-blowing. One of the interesting questions that being asked are whether there are whistle-blowing policies in the organizations. This is due to the fact that the research is about to know the intention of doing whistle-blowing.
Section III - Sabotage
In sabotage section, the question that being asked is more towards the loyalty and trust with the organization. Plus, the question that being asked also regarding the knowledge about the positive and negative effect of the sabotage actions inside the organization.
Section IV - Self-Awareness
Self-awareness sections are more focusing on the awareness of an employee towards any wrongdoing that happens inside the organization. Through the questions that being asked, the measurement of degree of awareness of the employee can be identify. Thus, the conclusion can be made based on the measurement.
Section V - Ethical climate
This is the last section in the questionnaire. It focus on the ethics in the organization that being practice by employee. Furthermore, the questions that being asked mostly related with organization which is the most important party in internal whistle-blowing.
3.1.2 Nominal Scales
In this research, the types of scales that being used is the nominal scales. Nominal scales are defined by Sakaran & Bougie as the scales that allows the researcher to assign subjects to certain categories or groups. Example of the use of nominal scales in the research:-
3.1.3 Interval Scales
Besides using nominal scales, another type of scales that being used is the interval scales. Interval scales allows the researcher to perform certain arithmetical operations on the data collected from the respondents and can help the researcher to compute the means and standard deviations on the variables (Sakaran & Bougie). In basic words, by using interval scales, the results that being obtained can help to measures the differences in the preferences of each individual. Example of the use of interval scales in the research:-
3.1.4 Pilot Testing
Pilot testing is the testing that being conducted on a small group of people regarding the questionnaire before distribute it to the actual respondents. The reasons why the pilot testing are being conducted is because to know if there is any weakness on the questionnaire. Thus, corrective actions on the questionnaire are taken to make sure the results that being obtained are valid and reliable.
3.2 Secondary sources
Secondary resources refer to the literature review that being conducted before methodology phase. Secondary resources means to find the information gathered by someone other than the researcher whom currently conducting the current study (Sakaran & Bougie). For examples, in this study some of the secondary resources are journals, books, articles.
Journal is one types of academic and non-academic resources that usually been refer by the students in their study. In this research, most of the literature reviews are from the journals. Some of the journal that being included are from Journal of Management Development, Journal of Ethics and Journal of Financial Crime.
Textbooks are definitely useful is findings some useful source of theory in specific area. Plus, textbooks can cover the broad range that sometimes the information is not included in the journals or articles. Hence, textbook is one of the good secondary resources to start with (Sakaran & Bougie, 2010).
An article is defined as a particular section or item of a series in written documents, as in contract, constitution, or treaty and it may also be defined as a piece of writing in a newspaper or magazine (TheFreeDictionary, n.d). Articles also can be one of the secondary resources that available to find and read. However in this research, articles only being put a little to maximize the information.