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Intention Towards Whistle-Blowing Among Internal Auditors in the U.K.

Sharif, Zakiyah (2015) Intention Towards Whistle-Blowing Among Internal Auditors in the U.K. Doctoral thesis, University of Huddersfield.

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Whistle-blowing has garnered widespread attention in many countries, including the U.K. Whistle-blowing has been seen as one of the most effective ways to cater with illegal and unethical practices in organisations. Whistle-blowing describes the action of a worker disclosing (internally or externally) questionable practices, from within an organisation, to the parties that can take remedial actions. Nevertheless, whistleblowing is a risky action where the worker might lose his/her job for making the disclosure. In the early years of whistle-blowing practice, not much whistle-blowing protection legislation has been introduced. In the U.K. whistle-blowing protection legislation, known as the Public Interest Disclosure Act, was only enacted in 1998.
Since then, various amendments to the Act have been made to give better protection to whistle-blowers. Many other policies have been introduced by policy makers in an effort to encourage whistle-blowing practice. Nevertheless, it is still an action that an individual might be disinclined to undertake. The purpose of this study is to identify factors that influence internal auditors in the U.K. to blow the whistle. Seven individual-level, independent variables (attitude, injunctive norm, descriptive norm, perceived behavioural control, self-efficacy, organisational professional conflict and awareness of the whistle-blowing protection legislation) are examined for their relationship with the dependent variable (intention to blow the whistle). Moral intensity is examined for its moderating effect on the relationships that exist between the seven independent variables and the dependent variable. Multiple regression analysis found positive and significant relationships involving six independent variables and the dependent variable. The six independent variables are attitude, injunctive norm, perceived behavioural control, self-efficacy, organisational-professional conflict and awareness of whistle-blowing protection legislation. The moderated multiple regressions found significant moderating effects of moral intensity in a relationship between injunctive norm and whistle-blowing intention, and descriptive norm and whistle-blowing intention.
Overall, the findings suggest that, individual-level variables also play significant role in determining internal auditors’ intention to blow the whistle. Relative to individuallevel variables, organizational-level and situational level variables have received much attention among researchers in the past. Therefore, the findings suggest that future researches should also put emphasis and consideration on individual-level variables along with organizational and situational level variables in their future work. Also, intention to whistle-blow among internal auditors in the U.K. is high especially in a scenario involving a wrongdoing that may harm public safety than in scenario involving falsified invoices and collusion and tiers of hierarchy. The spirit of whistle-blowing can be infused if more efforts were taken by government, media and many other parties. The efforts include promoting the encouragement for whistle-blowing and institutionalise effective whistle-blowing policies and procedures in organizations.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HF Commerce
H Social Sciences > HF Commerce > HF5601 Accounting
Schools: The Business School
Depositing User: Elizabeth Boulton
Date Deposited: 24 May 2016 14:49
Last Modified: 24 May 2016 18:31


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