African Journal of
Business Management

  • Abbreviation: Afr. J. Bus. Manage.
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1993-8233
  • DOI: 10.5897/AJBM
  • Start Year: 2007
  • Published Articles: 4188

Full Length Research Paper

Systemic factors moderating effective whistle blowing: An exploratory study into a public service organisation

Soma Pillay1 and Nirmala Dorasamy2*
1Swinburne University of Technology, Hawthorn, Melbourne, Australia. 2Department of Governance and Economic Development, Durban University of Technology, Durban, South Africa.  
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 22 June 2011
  •  Published: 30 September 2011


A review of research concerning whistle-blowing suggests that it is of benefit to society; hence, sophisticated policies have been introduced to encourage whistle blowing. However, research on conditions that lead to whistle-blowers being effective in stopping wrongdoing is still developing in industrialised countries or woefully absent in developing and less developed countries. The purpose of this paper is to use survey data to examine the variables impacting on whistle-blowing using the case of a developing country. It was found that a majority of respondents believe that systemic factors moderates effective whistle-blowing. Based on these findings, we present a model of a culture contingent whistle-blowing process which considers context, content, situational variables, and outcomes. This paper has practical implications for policy makers, managers and public officials in developing democracies, especially in designing policies that consider the cultural aspects of complex open systems and exploring concerns of obvious importance practically as well as theoretically.


Key words: Whistle blowing, corruption, national culture.