Following recent corporate scandals, legislators in North America have rushed to enshrine whistleblowing mechanisms and protections in law. Despite this legislative enthusiasm, however, many organizations still struggle to create effective, credible whistleblowing mechanisms. Indications are that such mechanisms may be used by less than 1 per cent of employees. The low uptake may simply reflect low levels of unethical or illegal behaviour in these organizations. It might also mean that employees lack confidence in the credibility of whistleblower mechanisms.
Creating Effective Whistleblowing Mechanisms: Insights from Practitioners sets out guidelines to help organizations establish more effective whistleblowing mechanisms. As well as offering general tips on ways to improve whistleblower protection, this Executive Action report recommends specific actions for handling complaints involving senior executives. The report is based on the deliberations of the Corporate Ethics Management Council—a network of senior executives responsible for ethics and compliance management in major Canadian public and private sector organizations.