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Three Essays on Culture and Whistleblowing: A Multimethod Comparative Study of the United States and Japan.

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Title:Three Essays on Culture and Whistleblowing: A Multimethod Comparative Study of the United States and Japan.
Authors:Yamaguchi, Masahisa K.
Contributors:Business Administration (department)
Date Issued:Aug 2017
Publisher:University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Abstract:A multi-method cross-cultural study was conducted to examine how cultural, organizational, and individual differences shape whistleblowing behavior in the United States and Japan. In the first essay, a qualitative method was used to examine the influence of ecological and historical factors, which are antecedents of culture, on shaping whistleblowing behavior. Historical factors such as the development of laws promoting whistleblowing and protecting whistleblowers were examined. Reports on whistleblowing activities in the popular culture, academic research on the topic of whistleblowing, and films made on whistleblowers were also examined in both the United States and Japan. It was found that in the United States there is a long history of promoting whistleblowing through legislation, whereas in Japan, suggestion box has been used since 1721 to provide voice, and whistleblowing legislation has only started in the last ten years.
Scenarios are effective tools for measuring people‘s response to specific behaviors, and therefore, in the second essay, eight scenarios depicting situations such as taking items from the office, appropriating office resources for personal gain, sexual harassment, and environmental pollution were developed. Some scenarios consisted of two to four situations that increased in moral intensity giving a total of twenty one scenarios. Data were collected from the United States and Japan to compare the response of people to these workplace situations. Findings from this study show that people are sensitive to moral intensity, and there are cultural differences in how we respond to various workplace situations. Counter to the common belief that in collectivist cultures people do not blow the whistle, it was found that in certain situations Japanese people are as prone to take action as are people in United States.
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The third essay examined how cultural, organizational and individual level variables shape whistleblowing. Multiple cultural theories (i.e., Tightness and Looseness, Individualism and Collectivism, and Social Axiom), organizational variables (i.e., Organizational Policy towards Whistleblowing, Perception of Organizational Support, Perception of Retaliation, and Perception of Politics in Organization), and personality factors (i.e., Allocentrism, Idiocentrism and the Big 5 Personality Factors) were employed to examine which variable is more effective in predicting whistleblowing behavior. A multilevel model of whistleblowing behavior was developed using these variables. Results from hierarchical regression show that Collectivism and Social Axiom (i.e. Reward for Application and Social Complexity), and Tightness and Looseness predict whistleblowing behavior in that order. Organizational Policy towards Whistleblowing and one of the Big 5 Personality factors, Conscientiousness, also predict whistleblowing behavior. Findings also show that whistleblowing intention mediates whistleblowing attitude and whistleblowing behavior.
Description:Ph.D. Thesis. University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa 2017.
URI:http://hdl.handle.net/10125/62229
Rights:All UHM dissertations and theses are protected by copyright. They may be viewed from this source for any purpose, but reproduction or distribution in any format is prohibited without written permission from the copyright owner.
Appears in Collections: Ph.D. - Business Administration


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