IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Who Blows the Whistle and Why?


  • Marcia P. Miceli
  • Janet P. Near
  • Charles R. Schwenk


This study examines the effects of a number of perceptual variables on internal auditors' reporting of wrongdoing by employees and managers in their organizations. Survey responses of 653 Directors of Internal Auditing who observed what they perceived to be incidents of wrongdoing show that they were less likely to report these incidents when they did not feel compelled morally or by role prescription to do so, when they evaluated their job performance as below average, or when they were employed by highly bureaucratic organizations. Also, the auditors were more likely to report incidents to external agencies (as opposed to authorities within the organization) when they felt that the public or their co-workers were harmed by the wrongdoing, the wrongdoing involved theft by relatively low-level workers, there were few other observers, or the organization was highly regulated.

Suggested Citation

  • Marcia P. Miceli & Janet P. Near & Charles R. Schwenk, 1991. "Who Blows the Whistle and Why?," ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School, vol. 45(1), pages 113-130, October.
  • Handle: RePEc:sae:ilrrev:v:45:y:1991:i:1:p:113-130

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Anantawikrama Tungga Atmadja & Komang Adi Kurniawan Saputra & Daniel T.H. Manurung, 2019. "Proactive Fraud Audit, Whistleblowing and Cultural Implementation of Tri Hita Karana for Fraud Prevention," European Research Studies Journal, European Research Studies Journal, vol. 0(3), pages 201-214.
    2. Near, Janet P. & Miceli, Marcia P., 2016. "After the wrongdoing: What managers should know about whistleblowing," Business Horizons, Elsevier, vol. 59(1), pages 105-114.
    3. Giovanni Garegnani & Emilia Merlotti & Angeloantonio Russo, 2015. "Scoring Firms’ Codes of Ethics: An Explorative Study of Quality Drivers," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 126(4), pages 541-557, February.
    4. Mehmet Emin Önder & Umut Akçıl & Necati Cemaloğlu, 2019. "The Relationship between Teachers’ Organizational Commitment, Job Satisfaction and Whistleblowing," Sustainability, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 11(21), pages 1-22, October.
    5. Bernardo de Abreu Guelber Fajardo & Ricardo Lopes Cardoso, 2014. "Does the Occasion Justify the Denunciation?: a Multilevel Approach for Brazilian Accountants," Brazilian Business Review, Fucape Business School, vol. 11(5), pages 24-48, October.
    6. Nadia Smaili & Paulina Arroyo, 2019. "Categorization of Whistleblowers Using the Whistleblowing Triangle," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 157(1), pages 95-117, June.
    7. Barbara Culiberg & Katarina Katja Mihelič, 2017. "The Evolution of Whistleblowing Studies: A Critical Review and Research Agenda," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 146(4), pages 787-803, December.
    8. Kim Loyens & Wim Vandekerckhove, 2018. "Whistleblowing from an International Perspective: A Comparative Analysis of Institutional Arrangements," Administrative Sciences, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 8(3), pages 1-16, July.
    9. Stikeleather, Bryan R., 2016. "When do employers benefit from offering workers a financial reward for reporting internal misconduct?," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 52(C), pages 1-14.
    10. repec:rss:jnljms:v6i1p2 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Lee, Gladys & Xiao, Xinning, 2018. "Whistleblowing on accounting-related misconduct: A synthesis of the literature," Journal of Accounting Literature, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 22-46.
    12. Jingyu Gao & Robert Greenberg & Bernard Wong-On-Wing, 2015. "Whistleblowing Intentions of Lower-Level Employees: The Effect of Reporting Channel, Bystanders, and Wrongdoer Power Status," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 126(1), pages 85-99, January.
    13. Niamh Brennan & John Kelly, 2007. "A study of whistleblowing among trainee auditors," Open Access publications 10197/2901, Research Repository, University College Dublin.

    More about this item


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:sae:ilrrev:v:45:y:1991:i:1:p:113-130. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (SAGE Publications). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.