Whistleblowing and suchlike. Wheres the line?

#1
Seeing as integrity is a basic tenet of leadership I thought I'd pose this question here.


Where should the line be drawn between "the stuff you know goes on but no-one makes a big deal of" and "Hold on, this is bang out of order and I want to say something but will be committing career suicide"??

Is it a matter of principle or does it come down to cost/benefit?

For example, I'm privilege to certain sensitive data that not many other people are. My boss, knowing this, still lied to my face telling me (and others) something to the contrary. Therefore puts me in the position whereby I'm supposed to uphold HIS lies.

Although he's obviously dropped a bollock here, would it be unreasonable to call him out for it?

The reason it's a grey area is that it concerns employee remunerations, which are ALWAYS an emotive issue.

So does one "play the game" or not. If not, when do you know that it's gone far enough?

Is this just the way is it?
 
#2
It is a matter both of principle and of degree. No human society can stand up to complete honesty - try "No, it doesn't make your bum look big - your bum is big" or "what a hideous child - she looks like you mated with an iguana"!

Some things are trivial and not worth the aggro. Sometimes, you can avoid active involvement - ignoring your boss's lies but not telling any yourself. Sometimes not even that is enough to bring it within your acceptable moral compass.

On the whistle-blowing side - always try to take it up the official route first before going outside - unless life or serious safety issues are at stake and you don't have the time or opportunity.

In the end - you make your own decisions and you suffer the consequences.
 
#3
I was privy to some spectacular info regarding the tendering of some up and coming regen works, I said nowt and made an absolute fortune.
 
#4
Isn't this the kind of issue you should run past your Adjutant? ( assuming of course that you are in a position to do this )
 
#5
There's a fine line between using information to your advantage and harbouring lies that should be exposed.

In this instance, there'd be no tangible gain to be had other than the people that lied would be exposed and would have to think about chaging things in the future. Much like the MP's expenses issue.

However, in reality, I would just be sacked, the other employees would be demotivated and the company would suffer as a result. Is it just easier to let the lies go and watch everyone truck on in blissfull ignorance?

Obviously, as it's just money then it's easy to say that it's not worth the bother. Is it not hypocritical to only take action when people's lives are at stake?
 
#6
Bravo_Bravo said:
Isn't this the kind of issue you should run past your Adjutant? ( assuming of course that you are in a position to do this )
Sorry, not serving - yet. There's no real equivalent unless I take it to HR. Which of course would be a waste of time as they are all in the loop anyway.
 
#7
Ace_Rimmer said:
There's a fine line between using information to your advantage and harbouring lies that should be exposed.

In this instance, there'd be no tangible gain to be had other than the people that lied would be exposed and would have to think about chaging things in the future. Much like the MP's expenses issue.

However, in reality, I would just be sacked, the other employees would be demotivated and the company would suffer as a result. Is it just easier to let the lies go and watch everyone truck on in blissfull ignorance?

Obviously, as it's just money then it's easy to say that it's not worth the bother. Is it not hypocritical to only take action when people's lives are at stake?
Blackmail the cunt, throwing your own morals aside.
 
#8
With all of the above taken aboard, sound advice so far, I offer this cheesey nugget. I recall The DS answer according to the SOLID C video (sad but here goes), is to tell your mate, that the bird that's trying to take him home, is actually taken, to give him a chance to rectify his error. If that doesn't work, to take it to the bird's bloke with the bad news.

Simples, no?
 
#9
You have two fundamental principles out here in the world:

1 Don't rock the boat. (Your boss worries about his mortgage and probably also his pension)

2 Don't piss down my back and tell me it's raining. (Your boss tells lies and that offends you)

If you follow (1) slavishly and I do mean every waking minute, you will, in the fullness of time find yourself in a position to lie or not to those who work for you. You may feel like s**t most mornings.

Prefer (2) and you will probably feel good about yourself. Standing up like a man has a lot going for it, but your boss will hate you until he moves on to higher things. If you know A LOT his boss will hate you too.

No one said life was supposed to be easy.

Commiserations,

B
 
#10
Whistleblowers in the Army get crushed. Just ask Bob West the officer who alleged that his Corps was fiddling their figures for the Annual Personal Weapons Test.
 
#11
Perhaps that's the biggest irony. We absolutely and quite vocally hate those in a position of power that are found to have greased their own wheels in the past but in fact, we all know that there's really only one way to get to the top in this world.

Maybe it's that sad fact that makes it all the more distasteful!
 
#12
Ace_Rimmer said:
Bravo_Bravo said:
Isn't this the kind of issue you should run past your Adjutant? ( assuming of course that you are in a position to do this )
Sorry, not serving - yet. There's no real equivalent unless I take it to HR. Which of course would be a waste of time as they are all in the loop anyway.
You should have pointed this out in your original post, and asking in the Officers forum would indicate you are serving as an Officer.

The standards expected of Officers and Soldiers in general are usually somewhat higher than in civilian life. I suspect answers would be different if this had been made clear.
 
#13
duffdike said:
Whistleblowers in the Army get crushed. Just ask Bob West the officer who alleged that his Corps was fiddling their figures for the Annual Personal Weapons Test.
O dear me, what fudge the APWT scores, I thought we all did that, or was it just us pissed up Cold War BAOR punters. :D
 

mysteron

LE
Book Reviewer
#14
Ace - R,

Every major corporation has a clear policy on this and it is basically the same.

You SHOULD approach your Delivery Manager (rather than your Line Manager who this guy is) and call it out as unethical behaviour for the very fact that compensation for employees is basically the glue that keeps people there.

When you do the policy will state that you cannot acted against in light of what you have done. So you are safe for a while (we all know the real way of the world and your longer term career would magically go a lot slower - because there aren't any opportunities with your skill set available et al).

If and when you leave to join the Forces, you leave it all behind and that news will be today's chip paper and tomorrow's land fill. Unless this guy is a very well connected and influential man, when it will inevitably come back and bite you on the arrse when you come to leave the Forces and need a job in the same industry.

In short, report it if he is unlikely to have any real influence, I wouldn't reccomend it if he is married to the CEO's daughter.
 
#15
Bravo_Bravo said:
Ace_Rimmer said:
Bravo_Bravo said:
Isn't this the kind of issue you should run past your Adjutant? ( assuming of course that you are in a position to do this )
Sorry, not serving - yet. There's no real equivalent unless I take it to HR. Which of course would be a waste of time as they are all in the loop anyway.
You should have pointed this out in your original post, and asking in the Officers forum would indicate you are serving as an Officer.

The standards expected of Officers and Soldiers in general are usually somewhat higher than in civilian life. I suspect answers would be different if this had been made clear.
That may be the case but do you not think that is sad? Members of this forum do indeed hold people to these "higher" values. Also, by the sounds of it, careerism, back-stabbing and gossip mongering are alive and well in the services. However, I ask here because I'd like to think I do have higher standards than the gremlins I work with.

I agree, I should have made my status clear. I guess I posted here because I wanted to hear the opinion of the peers I aspire to have.




mysteron said:
If and when you leave to join the Forces, you leave it all behind and that news will be today's chip paper and tomorrow's land fill. Unless this guy is a very well connected and influential man, when it will inevitably come back and bite you on the arrse when you come to leave the Forces and need a job in the same industry.
This is what goes against the grain. I fear that if I crash out of Sandhurst with an injury, I may well require a reference/job from this company so don't want to rock the boat. This is where I feel ashamed that perhaps I'm lacking in moral fibre - hence the op.
 
#16
Ace Rimmer,

I think you probably deserve a reasonable answer, and I would not take the mix of flippancy and banter that has been lobbed at you as anything other than a traditional response.

Anyway, you should have a think about this issue. Is it something that is a big lie which really matters or is it a little white lie? If it is the latter then let it be, as there are worse things in life awaiting you. If it is a major lie which will affect real people in a major way and which will have major consequences then I would suggest that you need to speak personally to this punter and ask him why? At that point you will get his perspective and some reasons for why he has done it. If this is an issue which affects renumeration then I would expect in the current economic climate that quite a few companies will be telling porkies to their employees. Anyway, it is up to you. If you feel strongly then do something about it. As and when you join then I would suggest that you would respond in the same way as an officer.

whf
 
#17
Ask yourself the following question:

Is what is going on illegal and if it came out and I haven't done anything would I end up in court?

If the answer to that is yes, do something immediatelty. If it is illegal but you wouldn't end up in court or on disciplinary action if it got found out, tell someone about it - e.g. trade union, padre, mentor, someone you can confide in etc.

If it isn't illegal try and keep quiet.
 

The_Duke

LE
Moderator
#18
You have mentioned that it relates to employee remunerations, and that you know that what he has told the wider audience is not true.

Taking a wild leap of faith, was it something along the lines of "No-one will be getting pay rises/bonuses this year" but because you have seen the balance sheets, you know that a select few have in fact been paid them?

Unfortunately, this sort of scenario is a very common state of affairs. It typically arises when bonuses etc should not be paid due to a poor financial position, but it is essential to pay them out to a few staff who have overperformed, have a contractual guarantee or would walk if they were not paid (and their departure would be detrimental to the future of the company). In this scenario, it is common to make a public statement that no bonuses will be paid, and then have separate conversations with the lucky exceptions to that rule.

Yes, it is lying to the wider audience, but what is the other option? "Bonuses will only be paid to those that we think are really valuable to us, and the rest of you will get nothing because your contributions were not significant and you can be easily replaced if you chose to leave?" It is a more honest statement, but not one that will be good for morale.

You now need to ask yourself what is the better position:

They know that they are not valued highly enough to warrant a bonus and that their boss lied to them to try and prevent them knowing this, or

that they remain in blissful ignorance, annoyed that they did not get a bonus this year but plodding on in the hope that they get one next year.

Morals vs morale.
 
#19
Its rarely worth the bother.
Some years ago he company I worked for was getting government funding (to the tune of several million) for work they weren't doing. They expended lots of efort on ticking the right box's to get paid but thats all.
After some debate with myself over the morality of it all I shopped the company directly o the governemnt department that provided the funding.
Nett result, fook all. Nobody was interested.

Moral of the story, what you may find ethically offensive is probably just one of those things that nobody else cares about. Do the right thing but don't expect any results or even any thanks.
 
#20
The_Duke said:
You have mentioned that it relates to employee remunerations, and that you know that what he has told the wider audience is not true.

Taking a wild leap of faith, was it something along the lines of "No-one will be getting pay rises/bonuses this year" but because you have seen the balance sheets, you know that a select few have in fact been paid them?

Unfortunately, this sort of scenario is a very common state of affairs. It typically arises when bonuses etc should not be paid due to a poor financial position, but it is essential to pay them out to a few staff who have overperformed, have a contractual guarantee or would walk if they were not paid (and their departure would be detrimental to the future of the company). In this scenario, it is common to make a public statement that no bonuses will be paid, and then have separate conversations with the lucky exceptions to that rule.

Yes, it is lying to the wider audience, but what is the other option? "Bonuses will only be paid to those that we think are really valuable to us, and the rest of you will get nothing because your contributions were not significant and you can be easily replaced if you chose to leave?" It is a more honest statement, but not one that will be good for morale.

You now need to ask yourself what is the better position:

They know that they are not valued highly enough to warrant a bonus and that their boss lied to them to try and prevent them knowing this, or

that they remain in blissful ignorance, annoyed that they did not get a bonus this year but plodding on in the hope that they get one next year.

Morals vs morale.

Christ.... do I work with you?? :D

Yes that's about the size of it and to be honest it's the conclusion I've come to. I think my issue wasn't with whether I would tell everyone the truth but rather if I would have the balls to have it out with my boss about it. As an aside, the "lucky exceptions" number about 30% of the workforce!! Incredible really.

Ah well, I guess I was getting my knickers in a twist over a non-issue.
 

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