The organization to the environment within the

The purpose
of this learning is to explore and analyze the different consequences and
effects of leaking confidential information about an organization to the
environment within the organization or outside fighting through ethical
dilemmas and wrong doing. This paper also gives a brief idea on Whistle blowing
in the IT industry mainly and some of the different variables that influence
people to breach confidentiality to an internal party or third party. The goal
is to of this article is to provide transitory understanding on information
whistle blowing.Information technology takes over more of our lives and the ethical
complications of decisions made by software developers, programmers and IT
professionals is only becoming greater day by day.The question of ethical behavior in the IT industry is beginning to get
addressed. Unlike older and more established professions such as medicine and
law, most ethical issues from IT and security professionals have not yet been
codified into law, nor is there a standard obligatory oversight body that has
established a comprehensive code of ethics for IT professionals and hence it is
essential for an organization to look into the ethical dilemmas concerning
privacy, breach of confidentiality, whistleblowing to maintain a principled
environment for individuals to carry upon their work successfully.This essay
is going to include a short research into the incentives in the aspects of
whistleblowing instances as well as its influence to an organization. 

the modern technology that is being used in work places promises competitive
advantages to the organization it also increases apprehensions about unethical
information practices by employees who are caught up in an ethical dilemma.
These technologies also makes it much easier to copy and distribute information
among the organization and 3rd parties as IT professionals gain
access to equipment and information to violate intellectual property and
privacy decisions.” (Erika et al, 2010)

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“Whistle-blowing is an
effort by an employee to attract attention to a negligent, illegal, unethical,
abusive, or dangerous act by a company that threatens the public interest and
that of the organization. Whistle-blowers often have access to special
information based on their expertise or position within the offending
organization.” (Reynolds, 2012)

For an example, “an IT
professional of a company may know and have access to the organization’s
sensitive information regarding the accounting side of its aspect since he or
she may be in charge of the ERP system and may notice the numbers are being
fraudulent in the company’s record. A conscientious employee would call the
problem to management’s attention and try to correct it by working with
appropriate resources within the company. But what if the employee’s attempt to
correct the problem through internal channels was dissatisfied or ignored? The
employee could then consider becoming a whistle-blower and reporting the
problem to people outside the company, including state or federal agencies that
have jurisdiction. Obviously, such actions could have negative consequences on
the employee’s job, perhaps resulting in vengeance and firing. In May 2005,
Oracle Corporation paid $8 million to settle charges that it fraudulently
collected fees before providing training for clients and failed to comply with
federal travel regulations in billing for travel and expenses. The charges
arose from a whistle-blower lawsuit brought by a former Oracle vice president.
As a result of the settlement, the whistle-blower received $1.58 million of the
$8 million total settlement.” (Reynolds, 2012)

“However according to Granville
whistleblowing can occur when parties external to the organization are informed
of illegal or unlawful wrongdoing within an organization. These individuals may
be members of the media, government officials, members of public support
groups, or various other parties external to the organization who can bring
about change. definition of whistleblowing, however, describes it as taking
place when a person reports individual or corporate wrongdoing to sources
either internal or external to the organization. Internal whistleblowing may be
defined as disclosure to sources within the organization (for example, members
of upper management and supervisors) who can bring about effective change
regarding a perceived wrongdoing. Reports of wrongdoing to co-workers (peer
reporting), however, would not be considered whistleblowing.” (Granville, 1999)

“On the other hand, in
circumstances where the wrongdoer is a higher official, the observer of the
wrongdoing could report the incident to other members of upper management who
could eliminate the unlawful act. This type of action may be accompanied by the
exiting of the wrongdoer and/or rebel. Whistleblowing is a sensitive style of
communication which requires the successful communicator to consider the
audience, purpose, language, and tone of the wrongdoing that is being
disclosed. There are a couple of benefits to internal whistleblowing as opposed
to external disclosure.” (Granville, 1999)

For an example, “Internal
disclosures allow organizations a chance to fix problems before they develop
into full-blown scandals in the eyes of public”. Furthermore, internal
disclosure creates an ethical atmosphere within the organization where
employees are encouraged to report unethical behaviour. If, however, the
organization’s climate is favourable to suppressing internal disclosure, the
wrongdoing may go unreported for months causing the organization to suffer.
Although internal and external whistleblowing appear to be different, they are
conceptually similar. For instance, both forms of whistleblowing start with
individuals observing organizational wrongdoings committed by executives/
managers or employees. Besides, both use the active voice (that is, verbal
communication) as a means of eliminating the wrongdoing, instead of alternative
approaches, such as sabotage or violence where both forms of whistleblowing may
threaten organizational norms and culture, creating an atmosphere of animosity
and retaliation against the observer of the wrongdoing.” (Granville, 1999)

More over as per Eileen and Mary’s
sayings “First, it directly implies ethical failure and involves one person
judging the ethical behaviour of another. Second, whistleblowing is often
anonymous, depriving the reported-on an individual the right to face his or her
accuser. Third, whistleblowing often entails reporting outside of the
established lines of communication and authority. Finally, whistleblowing
requires trust in those at the top of the organization to take appropriate
actions when they learn of misdeeds by their employees. Unfortunately, even
when wrong doing is detrimental to many people external to the organization
(e.g. fraudulent ?nancial reporting, hacking into to the system resulting in
arti?cially high stock prices and leaking sensitive data regarding the
organization), those internal to the organization often view the whistle-blower’s
report (rather than the initial wrongdoing) as the cause of their losses.
Evidence of widespread retaliation and cost to the whistle-blower himself is
well documented. However uncomfortable we are with the notion of reporting on
the behaviour of others, whistleblowing is an important organizational control.
Indeed, industry surveys  and academic
research support the contention that reporting mechanisms aid in the prevention
and detection of unethical behaviour.” (Eileen Z and
Mary B, 2010)

“Whistle-blowing is
generally considered from the viewpoint of professional morality. Morality
rejects the idea of choice and the interests of the professional as immoral.
Yet the dreadful retaliations against the messengers of the truth make it
necessary for morality to leave a way out of whistle-blowing. Therefore it
forges rights (sometimes called duties) to trump the duty to the public
prescribed by professional codes. This serves to hide the obvious fact that
whether to blow the whistle is indeed a choice, not a matter of objective duty.
One should also notice that if it fails to achieve anything then blowing the
whistle was the wrong decision (or maybe the right decision that nobody would
want to make). There is nevertheless a tendency to judge it based on the
motivation of the whistle blower. In a way, whistle blowers should strive to
act like saints. Yet, it is logically impossible to hold both whistle-blowing
as mandatory and whistle-blowers as heroes or saints. Moreover, this tends to
value the great deeds of a few over the lives of the many, which is incompatible
with the basic assumptions of morality.” (Mathieu Bouville,2008)

To conclude and summarize the
essay, this literature explains that whistleblowing is a serious ethical
dilemma where from the perspective of ethics in general, whistle-blowers are
faced with deciding whether to break the bond of loyalty to their respective
organizations or to make a 3rd party aware about it in such a
situation apart from being beneficial or elsewise.Whistle-blowers need to be
insiders, that is, either currently or previously associated with the
organization and a further discrepancy may be made between open and anonymous
whistleblowing during a situation. Internal whistle blowing is being
encouraged by many legal systems and legislations where there is also a
probability factor that the person may have chosen to leak information about
the company which may have negatively affected the society in the future and
hence forth the whistle-blower might be saved in the face of law, if proven
that the information leaked would cause a commotion.Like there’s no rose without a
thorn, either way whistleblowing would or would not be considered as wrong
doing depending on the weightage of the consequence relating to the company and
the person himself.

McCallister, Timothy Grance, Karen A. Scarfone., (2010). Guide to Protecting the Confidentiality of Personally Identifiable
Information (PII). National Institute of Standards and Technology Special
Publication 800-122 Natl. Inst. Stand. Technol. Spec. Publ. 800-122, 59 pages.

Journal Article.

W.Reynolds (2012). Ethics in Information Technology. 3rd ed. Boston,
USA: Joe Sabatino. p331-373. Book.

KingIII. (1999). The Implications of an Organization’s Structure on
Whistleblowing. The Journal of Business Ethics. 20 (4), p315–326. Journal Article.

Z. TaylorMary B. Curtis. (2010). An Examination of the Layers of Workplace
Influences in Ethical Judgments: Whistleblowing Likelihood and Perseverance in
Public Accounting. The Journal of Business Ethics. 93 (1), p21–37. Journal Article.

Bouville. (2008). Whistle-Blowing and Morality. The Journal of Business
Ethics. 81 (3), p579–585. Journal Article.


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