Whistleblowing is the action by which members of an organization report misconduct that occurs within their group to other persons inside or outside the organization. In the present research, we examined perception of whistleblowers in terms of global impressions, emotions, and behavioural intentions. Study 1 reveals negative reactions to whistleblowers, while Study 2 shows positive reactions to whistleblowers. To reconcile these findings, Study 3 varies the self-relevance of the context and reveals that whistleblowers are derogated when the context is highly self-relevant (as in Study 1) and positively evaluated when it is not (as in Study 2). Across the studies, we also show that emotions and the subjective importance of loyalty and fairness influence the evaluation of whistleblowers. Our findings help unveiling the conditions in which whistleblowers are alternatively regarded as heroes or traitors, depending on the perceivers' point of view.

Heroes or traitors? Perception of whistleblowers depends on the self-relevance of the group being reported

Pacilli, MG
;
Giovannelli, I;Spaccatini, F;
2022

Abstract

Whistleblowing is the action by which members of an organization report misconduct that occurs within their group to other persons inside or outside the organization. In the present research, we examined perception of whistleblowers in terms of global impressions, emotions, and behavioural intentions. Study 1 reveals negative reactions to whistleblowers, while Study 2 shows positive reactions to whistleblowers. To reconcile these findings, Study 3 varies the self-relevance of the context and reveals that whistleblowers are derogated when the context is highly self-relevant (as in Study 1) and positively evaluated when it is not (as in Study 2). Across the studies, we also show that emotions and the subjective importance of loyalty and fairness influence the evaluation of whistleblowers. Our findings help unveiling the conditions in which whistleblowers are alternatively regarded as heroes or traitors, depending on the perceivers' point of view.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11391/1534613
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