Aussie businesses don’t like whistleblowers
Wednesday, May 21, 2008/
The traditional Australian distaste for the dobber seems to have taken a grip on workplaces, with a new survey showing whistleblowers are often left unsupported by their employers.
The Grant Thornton International Business Report asked close to 8000 business owners around the world about the measures they have in place to support whistleblowers.
Just 26% of Australian business owners surveyed said they have implemented policies and practices in their workplace to look after whistleblowers, well below the global average of 45% and countries such as Denmark and Sweden on more than 70%.
As people prepared to step outside the management chain to report corruption or inefficiency, whistleblowers can make an important contribution to improving business practices, according to Tony Markwell, Grant Thornton Australia’s head of privately held business.
“Often whistleblowing can be the only way that information about issues such as rule breaking, criminal activity, cover-ups and fraud can be brought to management’s attention before serious damage is suffered,” Markwell says
“Without sufficient risk management measures in place, whistleblowers can be victimised as informants or traitors rather than a valuable early warning system which can save lives, money and reputations. The other, and perhaps greater and more prevalent, risk is that they remain quiet or leave the organisation and the underlying issues remain undetected,” he says.