Exco Risk

Moral dilemmas in the workplace – Why blow the whistle?


This article elaborates on fraud questions through looking at a number of whistle-blower reports that include the following:

  • In what way does an organisation’s fraud risk management plan become alive through the implementation of a whistle-blowing hotline?
  • Are the reports received via such a hotline of any value to the organisation?
  • What would induce employees to use such an independent facility to report unethical behaviour?

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People generally report matters to a hotline in instances where:

  • They observe the behaviour as wrong
  • They believe that someone should do something about it
  • They feel an obligation that it should be them who should say something

According to the Ethics Resource Centre (“Inside the Mind of a Whistle-blower”), whistle-blowers are motivated to report for a number of reasons:

  • It is perceived as a “big-enough crime”
  • Keeping quiet would cause harm to people
  • The problem is ongoing
  • Keeping quiet would cause further harm
  • The company didn’t do anything about the internal report – and thus it is reported externally
  • Keeping quiet would get them into trouble

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About the author

Deloitte South Africa

Deloitte is one of the country's leading professional services firms in Southern Africa, and is dedicated to assisting companies succeed in the business environment- whether it be through our tax, audit, consulting or financial advisory services.

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