The influence of dispositional affect on whistle-blowing

Ashley K. Reckers-Sauciuc, David Lowe

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


Consensus appears to be building that something must be done soon to stem the flood of corporate ethical lapses of the last decade. Businesses are being pressed to adopt policies, practices and procedures that advance integrity-in-action (not just talk). Provisions for whistle-blowing without retaliation might be one such practice. But, research is lacking. Our study probes why some people are willing to blow the whistle, while others are not? We examine the influence of dispositional affect on whistle blowing specifically, the affective states of sadness/demoralization, fear, arousal and contentedness/happiness. Environmental factors largely drive these affective states; environmental factors under the control of corporate management. Our hypotheses test tenets to the Toxic Triangle and Pro-Social Organizational Behavioral models. We report on a behavioral experiment using evening MBAs who express whistle blowing intent across a set of ethics laden case scenarios. Our findings provide strong support for the Toxic Triangle and Pro-Social Organizational Behavior models.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)259-269
Number of pages11
JournalAdvances in Accounting
Issue number2
StatePublished - Dec 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Accounting
  • Finance


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