A Global Approach to Public Interest Disclosure

A Global Approach to Public Interest Disclosure

What Can We Learn from Existing Whistleblowing Legislation and Research?

Edited by David B. Lewis

This timely and important book assesses the impact of legislation on public interest disclosures internationally, as well as setting an agenda for future research on whistleblowing.

Chapter 8: Speaking Truth to Power: The Whistleblower as Organizational Citizen in South Africa

Tina Uys

Subjects: business and management, human resource management

Extract

Professor Tina Uys INTRODUCTION In his book Citizenship in a Global Age Gerard Delanty (2000, p. 2) argues: The global age has created a highly fragmented world in which the struggle for democracy and the expansion of capitalism is not always contained within the structures of a civil society based on the institution of citizenship. Having been released from the contours of the nation state, capitalism and democracy have lost their moorings in the spirit of civic community that had made modern society possible . . . capitalism (the economic pursuit of profit) and democracy (the political rule of the majority) have become untamed forces. He advocates ‘a model of civic cosmopolitanism’ which promotes ‘a politics of autonomy based on civic community and public discourse’ (Delanty, 2000, p. 6). Civic cosmopolitanism ensures the enhancement of the quality of our social existence through the curtailment of the possible excesses of capitalism and democracy that could occur if left unconstrained. This implies that the basic human rights of citizens are protected, that there is a balance of power and that those in positions of power are held accountable for their actions. Their power is therefore held in check. This requirement is equally valid for capitalism as well as democracy, and therefore for the workplace. In a similar vein, Edward Said (1994) argues in his book Representations of the Intellectual that the intellectual has a responsibility to ‘speak truth to power’, which entails speaking out against abuses of power and injustice and taking the side of...

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