When it comes to whistle-blowers, most employers won’t take action if the claims come from an anonymous source — no matter how serious the claims are.
That’s according to a recent study that was published in the Journal of Management Studies. The study was the first to use practicing audit committee members to look into the practice of whistle-blowing.
The study discovered that even though public companies are required to provide employees with anonymous whistle-blowing channels, these channels are largely ineffective.
Key findings in the study:
- anonymous allegations are treated very differently from non-anonymous ones, and
- anonymous claims are largely ignored — especially if the claims involve upper management or board members.
So how can this problem be fixed? According to the study’s co author, Jake Rose, companies need to use an independent organization to handle any whistle-blowing claims.