Communications of the Association for Information Systems


We examine the factors that encourage employees to whistle-blow wrongdoings in relation to confidentiality breaches. We investigate how their anticipated regret about remaining silent changes over time, how such changes influence their whistle-blowing intentions, and what employee characteristics and organizational policies moderate this relationship. Drawing on attribution theory, we develop three hypotheses. Our experiment findings show that: 1) employees’ perceptions of the controllability and intentionality (but not stability) of the wrongdoing act affect how their anticipated regret evolves, 2) anticipated regret increases employees’ whistle-blowing intentions, 3) anticipated regret has a stronger effect on whistle-blowing intentions when organizations implement policies that promote efforts to protect information confidentiality, and 4) employees with information technology knowledge have a stronger intention to whistle-blow. Theoretically, our study extends the organization security literature’s focus to individuals’ whistle-blowing and highlights an IS research agenda around whistle-blowing in relation to confidentiality breaches. Practically, it informs organizations about how to encourage employees to whistle-blow when they observe confidentiality breaches.





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