The Phenomenon of Whistleblowing
The purpose of this thesis is to examine a multitude of concepts related to the phenomenon of whistleblowing. Chinn, Mufson, and Pearlman (2013) underline that we find ourselves “in the age of the whistleblower” and it is therefore imperative to understand this new phenomenon. The visibility of whistleblowers in the media is increasing but whistleblowers are not always portrayed accurately, and, as such, it may be beneficial to examine them in a more legitimate context. As whistleblowers can provide a tremendous service to the public, their organization, and the current economic situation, it is in society’s best interest to understand the whistleblowing process in order to encourage its expansion. The first half of the thesis examines the logistics of the whistleblowing process, the characterization of a whistleblower, and the various groups that can benefit from the whistleblowing phenomenon. This in depth analysis aims to dispel any misconceptions about whistleblowing and provides readers with a comprehensive overview of the literature available on whistleblower dynamics. The second half of the thesis reviews whistleblower laws from their foundation nearly two centuries ago all the way to current developments in whistleblower legislation. It analyzes the strengths and deficiencies of various legal measures and seeks to demonstrate why whistleblower legislation may never fully afford whistleblowers the comprehensive protection they deserve. This section will argue that, though whistleblower legislation has certainly improved in aiming to promote whistleblowing, certain deficiencies remain a permanent part of whistleblower law.