Trade unions and the whistleblowing process in the UK: an opportunity for strategic expansion?

Lewis, David B. ORCID logoORCID: and Vandekerckhove, Wim (2018) Trade unions and the whistleblowing process in the UK: an opportunity for strategic expansion? Journal of Business Ethics, 148 (4) . pp. 835-845. ISSN 0167-4544 [Article] (doi:10.1007/s10551-016-3015-z)

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Historically, whistleblowing research has predominantly focused on psychological and organisational conditions of raising concerns about alleged wrongdoing. Today, however, policy makers increasingly start to look at institutional frameworks for protecting whistleblowers and responding to their concerns. This article focuses on the latter by exploring the roles that trade unions might adopt in order to improve responsiveness in the whistleblowing process.
Research has consistently demonstrated that the two main reasons that deter people from reporting perceived wrongdoing are fear of retaliation and a belief that the wrongdoing is unlikely to be rectified. In this article we argue that trade unions have an important part to play in dealing with both these inhibiting factors but this requires them to be appropriately engaged in the whistleblowing process and willing to take a more proactive approach to negotiations. We use Vandekerckhove’s 3-tiered whistleblowing model and Kaine’s model of union voice level to structure our speculative analysis of the various ways in which trade unions can interact with whistleblowers and organisations they raise concerns about alleged wrongdoing in, as well as agents at a regulatory level. Our articulation of specific roles trade unions can play in the whistleblowing process uses examples from the UK as to how these trade union roles are currently linked to and embedded in employment law and whistleblowing regulation.

Item Type: Article
Research Areas: A. > School of Law > Law and Politics
Item ID: 25655
Notes on copyright: This is a post-peer-review, pre-copyedit version of an article published in Journal of Business Ethics. The final authenticated version is available online at:
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Depositing User: Dave Lewis
Date Deposited: 21 Nov 2018 16:53
Last Modified: 29 Nov 2022 19:46

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