What is Whistleblowing?
By whistleblowing we basically mean the act of stepping forward with information on considerable risks or dangerous developments with the goal to end the undesired state of affairs.
Most often whistleblowing is initiated by those persons who have immediate knowledge of underlying facts. Depending on where they render the information, it is referred to as internal or external whistleblowing.
Whereas internal whistleblowing as such is unconditionally useful, done externally it is usually considered to be dangerous or even damaging. But in certain instances external whistleblowing may not only be legitimate but even necessary.
Whistleblowers often face negative discrimination, such as severe harassment or immediate dismissal. This becomes especially true for external whistleblowers.
In these pages we describe how the situation can be optimised for all involved:
- Where possible, through preventive counsel to improve the structures in which risk communication takes place.
- In acute situations through assistance in crisis management – counselling, possibly mediation and other forms of de-escalation.
- Should de-escalation appear not possible (though later it often will be), the best help may be to minimise damage and prevent reoccurrence.