Whistle-blowing has long been an important organizational phenomenon that improves organizations in the long-run. Online whistle-blowing systems are becoming increasingly prevalent channels for reporting organizational abuses. Given that the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and similar financial laws throughout the world require multi-national firms to establish whistle-blowing procedures and systems, whistle-blowing research is even more important (Ernst & Young 2009). Existing whistle-blowing theory does not explicitly predict risk, trust, cross-cultural considerations, nor use of anonymous, online whistle-blowing systems. Yet, all of these are key considering in the whistle-blowing act and whistle-blowing in general. Furthermore, unless these systems are further understood, they may not be used, or they may not be used properly. This is a particular problem for multi-national financial firms that increasingly need to comply with whistle-blowing regulations.

This research-in-process paper details our plans to create and extend baseline whistle-blowing theory, by uniquely considering anonymity, risk, trust, and cross-cultural considerations in using whistle-blowing systems. The model will be rigorously testing using working professionals in the USA, Middle East, and China. We propose our design and measures for testing the model.