of whistleblowing in the US Government and Protection Program Research Paper

  1. Definitions of whistleblowing–legal and otherwise. For example, when actors report being sexually harassed by a film producer, is that a variety of whistleblowing?
  2. Online research of whistleblowing in the U.S. government–what offices exist, what cases have been tried, and what protections are offered for whistleblowers. For example, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has an Office of the Whistleblower. The U.S. Department of Labor offers a Whistleblower Protection Program. The Department of Energy lists the whistleblowing cases it has been involved in.
  3. Online and library research of whistleblowing in the professions students want to go into, such as the film industry, marketing, the military, human resources, and so on.
  4. Selection of a whistleblower to study (e.g., Sherron Watkins, Enron; Edward Snowden, NSA; Jeffrey Wigand, tobacco industry). Suggest that students consider looking for local whistleblowers who may have been profiled in regional newspapers, to make this project more “real.” There needs to be enough information publicly available to develop a substantive profile of the person’s organizational role and motivations for exposing unethical behavior.
  5. Analysis of the follower’s ethical decision-making process. What considerations were weighed? What pressures (internal and external) did the whistleblower experience before and after deciding to expose a company’s unethical behavior?
  6. What was the effect of the whistleblowing on the accused individual(s) and company? Acceptance of responsibility? Denial?
  7. Summary of the outcome. Was there a trial? A verdict? An appeal? A settlement out of court? Was the follower changed in some way because of this experience?
  8. What take-away lessons about followership are there from this event?

Use chapter 12 in the Northouse textbook to guide your response to this research paper.