International Handbook on Whistleblowing Research
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International Handbook on Whistleblowing Research

Edited by A. J. Brown, David Lewis, Richard E. Moberly and Wim Vandekerckhove

In the modern age of institutions, whistleblowing is now established as one of the most important processes – if not the single most important process – by which governments and corporations are kept accountable to the societies they are meant to serve. This essential Handbook provides researchers and policy makers from around the world with a comprehensive overview of the state of our knowledge regarding this vital process. In addition to drawing from the last 30 years of progressively more systematic research into whistleblowing, it also provides cutting-edge analysis of the conceptual and practical challenges that researchers will want to confront in the next decade.
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Chapter 19: Whistleblower support in practice: Towards an integrated research model

A.J. Brown, Daniel P. Meyer, Chris Wheeler and Jason Zuckerman


A pervasive theme of this book is how empirical research into whistleblowing has focused to date on primarily two things. First, researchers and policy makers have sought to know the patterns of whistleblowing in organizations: how much is there, who does it, when and why they do it, and what appears to happen as a result, primarily to the whistleblower themselves. As sketched in Parts II and III of the book, however, this research is now turning towards a more complete understanding not simply of whistleblowing, but of the role it plays in governance and political life, including how managers, organizations and institutions respond, and what happens in terms of other outcomes, including measures of impact and effectiveness. Secondly, efforts to protect whistleblowers since the 1970s have been spearheaded by legal reforms aimed at removing legal barriers and bases for retaliation, incentivizing whistleblowing, compensating whistleblowers for career and life damage, and regulating for institutions to recognize and respond more effectively to whistleblowing within their governance systems. As documented by the previous chapters in this Part, however, knowledge about the effectiveness of these legal approaches has been fragmented, anecdotal and limited, rather than integrated and systematic. It has tended to involve comparative legal and institutional research, and case-based research, rather than detailed empirical evidence of how these legal and organizational systems are actually performing in practice.

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