Towards a whistleblower typology: social fact or fiction?

Hocking, Robert (2011) Towards a whistleblower typology: social fact or fiction? MSc dissertation, University of Portsmouth.

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    The workplace can be conceptualised as a spaciotemporal location. Routine activity theory recognises that crime is situational and correlates with the opportunities presented to people in a particular context. The workplace is such a context. Within it noncompliance occurs and workers sometimes report it. The Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998 (the “PIDA”) was created by the legislature to protect workers from being punished for disclosing information that tends to suggest the law has been broken. It is asserted that Emile Durkheim’s conception of ‘social facts’ supports the contention that the true definition of a social phenomenon such as whistleblowing should derived from the legal formulation the legislature has given it. If that is accepted then the PIDA can be used to formulate a whistleblower typology by integrating the three essential elements it says constitute a protected disclosure with the three roles that Cohen and Felson’s crime triangle model suggest are required for a crime to occur.

    This enables the creation of a whistleblower typology which uses the dichotomies extracted from the PIDA and characterises them as either Wolf, Duck or Den workplace legal noncompliance problems. When combined with the Crime Triangle model the resultant combination can be utilised to create 8 preliminary whistleblower typologies that may be subject to empirical testing by judicial findings of fact. From this testing it is hoped that the proposed typologies may be modified and enhanced as testing methods are improved and further data in evaluated. Further studies may falsify some or all of the proposed typologies and/or suggest so far unrecognised ones exist. This study samples a random extract of Employment Appeal Tribunal (EAT) judgements to test whether any of the model’s proposed typologies can be identified. While the data set was limited by the scope of this study it can be tentatively asserted that some typologies may be identified by the findings. It is also suggested that some of the preliminary typologies may be refined and evolved in future studies.

    Item Type: Dissertation
    Departments/Research Groups: Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > Institute of Criminal Justice Studies
    Depositing User: Jane Polwin
    Date Deposited: 19 Dec 2011 14:35
    Last Modified: 28 Jan 2015 11:50

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