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Title: Whistle-blowing decisions in responding to organisational corruption in government internal audit units in Indonesia
Author: Humantito, Ide Juang
ISNI:       0000 0004 6061 9323
Awarding Body: University of Warwick
Current Institution: University of Warwick
Date of Award: 2016
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This study examines the whistle-blowing decisions of government internal auditors in response to individual and collective corruption occurring within government internal audit units. An auditor is simultaneously a role-prescribed and non-role-prescribed whistle-blower that may behave hypocritically. On the one hand, auditors may be intolerant of and report any corruption taking place within their audit clients. On the other hand, they may display an unwillingness to blow the whistle on corruption committed by their fellow auditors in which they and the recipients of whistle-blowing information may be a part of or beneficiaries of the wrongdoing. To examine how, why and what factors influence their whistle-blowing decisions, we utilised two approaches: the whistle-blowing intentions through the use of case scenarios and actual wwhistleblowing relying on the self-reported cases. Mixed methods of surveys, interviews and focus group discussions were conducted in seven government internal audit units. Seeing whistle-blowing as a constructive behaviour for the benefit of the organisation involving an ethical dilemma, we integrated the prosocial organisational behaviour and ethical decision-making perspectives of whistle-blowing to develop a three-phases of whistle-blowing decision. In phase 1, the potential whistle-blowers evaluated the wrongfulness and the seriousness of the wrongdoing in accordance with their ethical sensitivity and evaluated the existence of responsibility to act to stop the wrongdoing. In phase 2, they evaluated the organisation responsiveness and the existence of the demoralising situation. In phase 3, they assessed their personal responsibility, identified alternative decisions according to his/her ethical competence, calculated the cost and the benefit of each alternative and decide to blow or not to blow the whistle depended on their ethical perseverance. The study demonstrates that ethical judgement, moderated by the perceived seriousness and organisational commitment, significantly influenced the whistle-blowing intentions. while taking the ethical climate, wrongdoer’s power status and whistle-blower’s job level into consideration. The study found the domination of informal hidden values instead of formal written values and the occurrence of the process of normalisation of corruption that led to the destructive act of silence. They reduced the ethical sensitivity towards the wrongfulness and the seriousness of the corruption, diffused the responsibility to blow the whistle and created the demoralising situation. The organisations were not responsive. The whistle-blowing information was ignored and leaders often promoted an attitude of silent acquiescence by rewarding silent observers. The risk of whistle-blowing appeared greater than the expected benefit of being a submissive silent observer. When whistle-blowing information was eventually received, leaders rectified the problem informally outside of official procedures. The rules were upheld only when there was external pressure on the leaders. Through this, the wrongdoer will feel secure and the whistle-blower will perceive that the act of whistleblowing is not acceptable. The combination of the unwillingness to blow the whistle and the process of the normalisation of organisational corruption may create a vicious cycle of corruption in and by organisations. On the contrary, whistle-blowing occurred when the potential whistle-blowers perceived that the act of whistle-blowing is a constructive behaviour supported by the organisation’s culture and leadership. Whistle-blowing legislation alone may not be sufficient to motivate employees to blow the whistle particularly in Indonesia where in-group collectivism and power distance are relatively high.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Government of Indonesia
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: HD61 Risk Management