At first glance, the term “whistle-blowing” basically sounds like the corporate version of tattletaling, but the definition given in class cleared up a lot of points and made a lot of very important distinctions. Some of the most relevant distinctions were that the whistle-blower has to be acting out of moral obligation and out of concern for public interest, and cannot be doing it to exact revenge on another person(s).
This eliminates the possibility that an employee with a grudge can blow the whistle in order to fulfill their own agenda, which seems like it would be the primary reason for employees to blow the whistle. People always have an agenda, and unless blowing the whistle will in some way positively effect them and their lives, most people probably wouldn’t go through the trouble. This is, of course, not taking into account the truly serious crimes against the public, such as in the purposeful misallocation of public funds into kickbacks for management, or something such as that.
And it also sounds like it would be in the organization’s interest to encourage whistle-blowing, so that maybe something that was slipping by the management will get brought to their attention instead of continuing to slide past. The only situation in which this wouldn’t work to the company’s advantage is if the company itself was corrupt (Enron being the absolute pinnacle example of this).
So, after reading what the definition of what a whistle-blower really is, it is not merely a glorified tattletale, but more like a sort of defender of the public’s rights, keeping the big corporations in check (or the people in power at the big corporations) so that they cannot take advantage of “the little guy. ” But can it really be said that any and all people who have been deemed “whistle-blowers” legitimately acted out of concern for the public and did not have their own agendas? I think that is still debatable.