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Also, an employee may wish to reveal the conduct of his superior who did something legal, but ethically not clean (let's say he decided to resize the company, laid off a good number of employees forcing the market value of the corporation's shares to rise and sold his stock right after that, knowing that in a short while the market value of the company's shares would fall down). One man won, a lot of people lost - shareholders, employees, their families, the local stores etc. Obviously, the deed is done, nothing can be repaired. Therefore, the person may choose not to speak. But, in the long run, an exposure could produce positive consequences: a warning for other people doing the same kind of controversial acts, a warning for the public to be more careful etc.
Companies have been created with the goal of fulfilling customers' needs. As a consequence, people lay their trust upon these firms and believe that they will act in accordance with their needs. Yet, the never ending aim for profit leaves some executives sightless about the concerns of their clients. At this point, there is a strong need for a person to reveal the truth and reestablish correctness inside the company. This is a whistle-blower.
Laws have been enforced in order to provide equal chances to all members of the community, in our case to all companies. Competition is the "invisible hand" which regulates the market. As long as competition exists, there is certainty that the products and services offered respect the highest standards. The misconduct of some employees can lead to a competitive advantage upon other firms. The competitive advantage is beneficial and right when it appears from natural factors or when it is based on lawfully actions. In the case of misconduct, this advantage in unnatural and, therefore, not right. It will contribute to an unbalanced business environment. In the case of persons bribing officials in order to get more benefits, we can speak about tearing the competitive background. This is why I believe that employees should engage in whistle-blowing.
Another case of whistle-blowing requirement is the one when a company endangers the safety of its clients. As examples we can mention a doctor who doesn't use sterilized utensils, or a service providing company which makes use of broken or unsafe machinery (an amusement park), a food producer which uses expired or low-quality ingredients etc. In all these cases, it is advisable to report the wrongdoings.
In addition to all the facts mentioned above, we can depict other cases that require whistle-blowing. Thus, some companies may dump chemicals and other polluting substances in areas where the environment or the local community is affected. These companies may bribe the officials not to take action against them and even to state that the materials are not harmful. This silence of the officials covers the negative effects of those chemicals.
Before making the decision of reporting the misconduct of some superior, whistle-blowers should make sure that they have some sort of proof. If their words are based only on suppositions, no one will believe them; therefore, their action won't provide any benefit. Strong evidence of the unlawful or wrong behavior of the suspected persons will certainly lead to success. In addition to that, whistle-blowers run the risk of losing their jobs. Even if there are some laws which see to their protection, these persons are sometimes affected by their attempt to reveal the truth. Nevertheless, they shouldn't refrain from telling the accurate story. It is important for them to realize that their actions will prove valuable for the persons affected and that the amount of good is substantially greater than the negative effects.
As a conclusion, a person should engage in whistle-blowing when he is sure of the misconduct of his superior, when he realizes that the harm done will increase is the future due to his silence, when he feels that the act of whistle-blowing will stop the negative results or at least that it will arise the attention of the authorities.
Lee, Eugene "An Introduction to Utilitarianism," 6 Nov 2000 http://www.victorianweb.org/philosophy/utilitarianism.html[continue]
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