Killing the Messenger: A Survey of Public Relations Practitioners and Organizational Response to Whistleblowing after Sarbanes-Oxley

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dc.contributor.author Greenwood, Cary A.
dc.date.accessioned 2012-02-29T00:22:50Z
dc.date.available 2012-02-29T00:22:50Z
dc.date.issued 2011-09
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/1794/11976
dc.description xviii, 197 p. en_US
dc.description.abstract Whistleblowing has been a topic of media interest since the Vietnam War, and it continues to resonate strongly with the public. Several well-publicized whistleblowers have done much more than catch the attention of the world media. They arguably have changed the world. Whistleblowing refers to the reporting of illegal, wasteful, or unethical activities (i.e., wrongdoing) by current and former employees of an organization. Triggered by several highly publicized corporate financial failures, the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 requires publicly traded companies to provide an anonymous channel for employees to report financial wrongdoing and provides protection for those who do. Using resource dependence perspective and relationship management theory, this study uses e-mail to distribute an online survey to top-ranking public relations executives in the Fortune 1000 corporations to identify what role public relations executives have played in developing and publicizing anonymous whistleblowing channels, their knowledge of wrongdoing in their own organizations and elsewhere, their attitudes and actions related to the wrongdoing, the consequences of their actions, and their relationships with their organizations. The study finds that only one-fifth of respondents helped develop the required anonymous communication channel, but two-thirds helped publicize it; almost one-half of respondents are aware of wrongdoing in their corporations or in other organizations, and two-thirds of those report such activities; those who report wrongdoing do so through internal channels within the corporation, with one exception; few who report wrongdoing suffer retaliation; and the vast majority enjoy positive relationships with their organizations. However, a small number of respondents experienced retaliation, and the research points to a broader exploration of this topic among public relations personnel within Fortune 1000 corporations to determine to what extent status, relationships, and benefits such as the "golden handcuffs" influence whistleblowing. Future research on whistleblowing and ethics in public relations is warranted. en_US
dc.description.sponsorship Committee in charge: Dr. Patricia A. Curtin, Co-Chairperson; Dr. H. Leslie Steeves, Co-Chairperson; Dr. James K. Van Leuven, Member; Dr. Michael Russo, Member; Dr. Anne Parmigiani, Outside Member en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.publisher University of Oregon en_US
dc.relation.ispartofseries University of Oregon theses, School of Journalism and Communication, Ph. D., 2011;
dc.rights rights_reserved en_US
dc.subject Marketing en_US
dc.subject Communication en_US
dc.subject Management en_US
dc.subject Journalism en_US
dc.subject Communication and the arts en_US
dc.subject Social sciences en_US
dc.subject Public relations en_US
dc.subject Resource dependence en_US
dc.subject Relationship management en_US
dc.subject Business ethics en_US
dc.subject Evolutionary theory en_US
dc.subject Public relations theory en_US
dc.subject Relationship management theory en_US
dc.subject Resource dependence perspective en_US
dc.subject Whistle blowing en_US
dc.title Killing the Messenger: A Survey of Public Relations Practitioners and Organizational Response to Whistleblowing after Sarbanes-Oxley en_US
dc.title.alternative Survey of Public Relations Practitioners and Organizational Response to Whistleblowing after Sarbanes-Oxley en_US
dc.type Thesis en_US


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