Original Research

Employee perceptions regarding whistle-blowing in the workplace: A South African perspective

Sandra Perks, Elroy E. Smith
SA Journal of Human Resource Management | Vol 6, No 2 | a159 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajhrm.v6i2.159 | © 2008 Sandra Perks, Elroy E. Smith | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 05 August 2008 | Published: 18 November 2008

About the author(s)

Sandra Perks, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, South Africa
Elroy E. Smith, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, South Africa

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The purpose of whistle-blowing is to eradicate unethical behaviour in the work place. This article investigates the perceptions of South African employees (n=387) employed in medium and large organisations regarding whistle-blowing. Respondents regard personal viewpoints and the supportive organisational environment as determining factors for whistle-blowing. South African employees have faced minimal negative consequences and will again engage in whistle-blowing, regardless of union support. Organisations can create a whistle-blowing culture by having a personal code of ethics, using hotlines, having an ethical committee, engaging in periodic ethics training and doing an annual ethical audit.


Ethical behaviour; Internal policies; Communication channels; Whistle blowing; Wrongdoing.


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