Academic journal article International Education Studies

Whistle-Blowing Intentions of Prospective Teachers: Education Evidence

Academic journal article International Education Studies

Whistle-Blowing Intentions of Prospective Teachers: Education Evidence

Article excerpt


This study investigates whistle-blowing intentions of prospective teachers. Firstly, overall ethical awareness of the participants was examined, and then their underlying ethical reasons of whistle-blowing were investigated. Besides, impact on the intention to blow whistle to internal or external parties offering their job guarantee were searched. Three ethical dilemmas were constructed in three scenarios, and The Multi-dimensional Ethics Scale was used in the study. The results revealed that the students' overall ethical awareness is high, and justice provides strong explanation power for whistle-blowing intention of the participants. While there have been many studies examining whistle-blowing with different factors, there has not been any intention for examining it in education. Thus, this paper aimed to contribute to the extant literature by choosing Turkey and education as context as most studies have been conducted in the Western cultures, and in accounting or marketing service.

Keywords: ethical awareness, philosophical values, prospective teachers, Turkey, whistle-blowing

1. Introduction

Whistle-blowing is typically described as reporting wrongdoing to an individual or organization believed to have the power to stop it. An organizational member can report wrongdoing within an organization or can go to the public with that information. Although it seems to be hurtful to organizational interests, whistle-blowing may be managed to develop organizations. There has been increasing concern about whistle-blowing especially in American society for decades. While 26% of federal employees witnessed wrongdoings to blow the whistle in 1980, that rate increased to 48% in 1992. This means that public perception of whistle-blowing has been warmed positively. For instance, while David Welch was fired for reporting insider trading events by management of the Bank of Floyd in 2002, whistleblowers Cynthia Cooper, Sherron Watkins & Coleen Rowley were elected as 'Persons of the Year' by Time magazine in January 6, 2003 (Near & Miceli, 1986; Krebsbach, 2005; Kaplan & Schultz, 2007; Miceli et al., 1999; Liyanarachchi & Newdick, 2009).

Whistle-blowing came in the spotlight with the fall of American corporate giants such as Enron, Tyco, World Com, and many more because of their wrongdoings. After these corporate failures, number of studies increased introducing different whistle-blowing cases in many parts of the world (Miceli et al., 1999; Gundlach et al., 2003; Near & Miceli, 2008). Whistle-blowing studies have been conducted mostly in the US, and calls have been made for investigating whistle-blowing further in non-Western cultures (Park et al., 2005; Nayir & Herzig, 2012). This paper aimed to contribute to the extant literature by examining whistle-blowing among educators in Turkey as most studies have been conducted in the US and Europe, and little has been reported about it in non-Western cultures. Firstly, overall ethical decision-making with underlying reasons of prospective teachers were examined through three ethical dilemmas. Then, relationship between having job guarantee and intention to the modes of whistle-blowing was explored.

2. Literature Review

2.1 Whistle-Blowing

Whistle-blowing means disclosing organizational wrongdoings resulting in harm to third parties (Jubb, 1999; Association of Certified Fraud Examiners, 2010). It has been discussed by researchers in ethics, law and social sciences, and defined in different ways (See Table 1). Nevertheless it has generally been defined as going public with organizational information that threatens the public interest and as disclosure of illegal practices to someone who has power to affect it (Near, Rehg, Scotter, & Miceli, 2004; Elliston, 1982).

A whistle blower, makes public know information about activities believing that s/he has been ordered to perform some act causing unnecessary harm or s/he has obtained knowledge that they should violate human rights (Elliston, 1982; Vinten, 1996; Dawson, 2001; Near et al. …

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