Leadership Ethics Culture and Politics

| October 26, 2015

Whistleblower – An Ethical Dilemma
A whistleblower, by definition, is someone who brings an unethical, immoral, or illegal business practice to the public’s attention. Whistleblowers have a difficult time in doing this, and they often find their lives changed because of their actions. Sometimes they are shunned and also receive death threats. It is common for the family members to feel the effects of a whistleblower’s behavior.
Dr. Jeffrey Wigand became one of the best-known whistleblowers after his experience was turned into a movie, The Insider. He proved tobacco companies were deliberately boosting the nicotine content of cigarettes, making them more addictive and cancer causing. However, similar to other whistleblowers, he suffered from tremendous stress and received death threats and other forms of intimidation for doing the right thing.
How did Dr. Wigand show moral intelligence and leadership in this situation? Assess what you think he did for his own credibility based on his actions.
Explain what you would do if you found an unethical practice in your workplace. Would it depend on the severity of the unethical practice?
Provide a couple examples of potential unethical practices in your organization that could be considered very minor that people have come to “accept” as opposed to reporting.
Justify why you think that people tend to accept some unethical practices while others are not accepted. Create a continuum of severity model regarding ethical practices in organizations and discuss your model. How did you arrive at the model you created?
Provide a substantive (500–1,000 words) initial discussion posting addressing each of the components in the discussion question. Justify your answers with examples and reasoning.

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