Eurasian Business Review

, Volume 9, Issue 3, pp 299–318 | Cite as

Perceived organizational climate and whistleblowing intention in academic organizations: evidence from Selçuk University (Turkey)

  • Codjori Edwige Iko Afe
  • Alexis AbodohouiEmail author
  • T. Guy Crescent Mebounou
  • Egide Karuranga
Regular Article


This paper investigates the relationship between organizational climate drivers and whistleblowing intention through a cross-sectional study in Selçuk University in Turkey. Contrary to our expectations, the findings do not fully support the existing literature and the hypotheses underpinning this research. While the work environment in faculties and institutes of Selçuk University seems to portray an overall positive organizational climate, lecturers, researchers, and research assistants have expressed a deep reluctance in the likelihood to sound the alarm in case they witness wrongdoings and malpractices committed by their supervisors and fellow colleagues. The investigation reveals that some organizational climate drivers such as organizational justice, morale, leader credibility and mobbing are consistently associated with informal whistleblowing intention while only individual autonomy is bound with formal whistleblowing intention. Nevertheless, the outputs highlight individual autonomy and morale to have negative impact on whistleblowing intention which is opposite to our expectation. Furthermore, the findings do not support the assumption relating to the mediating role of trust and safety climate in the relationship between organizational climate drivers and whistleblowing intention.


Organizational climate Trust Safety climate Whistleblowing intention Academic organizations 


  1. Aiello, A., Deitinger, P., Nardella, C., & Bonafede, M. (2008). A tool for assessing the risk of mobbing in organizational environments: The “Val.Mob.” Scale. Prevention Today, 4(3), 9–24.Google Scholar
  2. AL-Abr row, H. A., Ardakani, M. S., Harooni, A., & Moghaddam pour, H. (2013). The relationship between organizational trust and organizational justice components and their role in job involvement in education. International Journal of Management Academy, 1(1), 25–41.Google Scholar
  3. Al-Zu’bi, H. A. (2010). A study of relationship between organizational justice and job satisfaction. International Journal of Business and Management, 5(12), 102–109.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Banerjee, S., & Roy, S. (2014). Examining the dynamics of whistleblowing: A causal approach. The IUP Journal of Corporate Governance, 13(2), 7–26.Google Scholar
  5. Bouville, M. (2007). Whistle-blowing and morality. Journal of Business Ethics, 81, 579–585.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Breaugh, J. A. (1985). The measurement of work autonomy. Human Relations, 38(6), 551–570.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Brennan, N., & Kelly, J. (2007). A study of whistleblowing among trainee auditors. British Accounting Review, 39(1), 61–87.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Burton, R. M., Lauridsen, J., & Obel, B. (2004). The impact of organizational climate and strategic fit on firm performance. Human Resource Management, 43(1), 67–82.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Byrom, N., & Corbridge, J. (1997). A tool to assess aspects of an organisations health & safety climate. In Proceedings of International Conference on Safety Culture in the Energy Industries. Münich: University of Aberdeen.Google Scholar
  10. Colquitt, J. A., & Rodell, J. B. (2011). Justice, Trust, and trustworthiness: A longitudinal analysis integrating three theoretical perspectives. Academy of Management Journal, 54(6), 1183–1206.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Davis, M. (1996). Some paradoxes of whistleblowing. Business Professional Ethics Journal, 15(1), 3–19.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Denton, D. W., & Kleiman, L. S. (2001). Job Tenure as a moderator of the relationship between autonomy and satisfaction. Applied Human Resources Management Research, 6(2), 105–114.Google Scholar
  13. Forehand, G. A., & Von Gilmer, H. (1964). Environmental variation in studies of organizational behavior. Psychological Bulletin, 62(6), 361–382.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Fox, M., & Beall, J. (2014). Advice for plagiarism whistleblowers. Ethics and Behavior, 24(5), 341–349.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Gökçe, A. T. (2013). Relationship between whistleblowing and job satisfaction and organizational loyalty at schools in Turkey. Global Science Research Journals, 1(1), 61–72.Google Scholar
  16. Gül, H., & Özcan, N. (2011). Mobbing ve Örgütsel Sessizlik Arasındaki İlişkiler: Karaman İl Özel İdaresinde Görgül Bir Çalışma. Kahramanmaraş Sütçü İmam Üniversitesi İktisadi ve İdari Bilimler Fakültesi Dergisi, 1(2), 107–134.Google Scholar
  17. Hacıcaferoğlu, S., & Gündoğdu, C. (2013). Determining the validity and the reliability of the mobbing scale for the football referees. International Journal of Science Culture and Sport, 1(4), 47–58.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Hackman, J. R., & Oldham, G. R. (1975). Development of the job diagnostic survey. Journal of Applied Psychology, 60(2), 159–170.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Hardy, B. (2009). Morale: Definitions, Dimensions, and Measurement. Cambridge: Dissertation of Doctor of Philosophy in Trinity Hall, University of Cambridge.Google Scholar
  20. Huang, C.-F., Lo, K.-L., & Wu, C.-F. (2013). Ethical climate and whistle-blowing: An empirical study of taiwan’s construction industry. Pakistan Journal of Statistics, 29(5), 681–696.Google Scholar
  21. Islamoğlu, G., Birsel, M., & Boru, D. (2012). Trust scale development in Turkey (pp. 1–15). Berlin: E-Leader.Google Scholar
  22. James, L. R., Choi, C. C., Ko, C.-H. E., McNeil, P. K., Minton, M. K., Wright, M. A., & Kim, K.-I. (2008). Organizational and psychological climate: A review of theory and research. European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, 17(1), 5–32.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. James, L. A., & James, L. R. (1989). Integrating Work environment perceptions: Explorations into the measurement of meaning. Journal of Applied Psychology, 74(5), 739–751.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Jensen, M. C., & Meckling, W. H. (1976). Theory of the firm: Managerial behavior, agency costs and ownership structure. Journal of Financial Economics, 3(4), 305–360.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Jones, G. R., & George, J. M. (1998). the experience and evolution of trust: Implications for cooperation and teamwork. Academy of Management Review, 23(3), 531–546.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Kramer, R., & Tyler, T. (1995). The occupational trust inventory (OTI): Development and validation. In R. Kramer & T. Tyler (Eds.), Trust in Organizations (pp. 302–330). Thousand Oaks: Sage.Google Scholar
  27. Leymann, H. (1996). The content and development of mobbing at work. European Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology, 5(2), 165–184.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. Litwin, C. H., & Stringer, R. A. (1968). Motivation and organizational climate. Boston: Harvard University Press.Google Scholar
  29. Lurie, Y., & Frenkel, D. A. (2002). Mobility and loyalty in labour relations: An Israeli case. Business Ethics: A European Review, 11(3), 295–301.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Masaka, D. (2007). Whistleblowing in the context of zimbabwe’s economic crisis. Electronic Journal of Business Ethics and Organization Studies, 12(2), 32–39.Google Scholar
  31. McCroskey, J. C., & Teven, J. J. (1999). Goodwill: A reexamination of the construct and its measurement. Communication Monographs, 66, 90–103.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Miceli, M. P., & Near, J. P. (1985). Characteristics of organizational climate and perceived wrongdoing associated with whistle-blowing decisions. Personnel Psychology, 38(3), 525–544.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Murphy, M. H. (2014). The pendulum effect: Comparisons between the snowden revelations and the church committee: What are the potential implications for Europe? Information & Communications Technology Law, 2(3), 192–219.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Nader, R., Petkas, P., & Blackwell, K. (1972). Whistle blowing. New York: Bantam Books.Google Scholar
  35. Neal, A., Griffin, M. A., & Hart, P. M. (2000). The impact of organizational climate on safety climate and individual behavior. Safety Science, 34, 99–109.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Near, J. P., Baucus, M. S., & Miceli, M. P. (1993). The relationship between values and practice organizational climates for wrongdoing. Administration & Society, 25(2), 204–226.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Near, J. P., & Miceli, M. P. (1985). Organizational dissidence: The case of whistleblowing. Journal of Business Ethics, 4(4), 1–16.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Niehoff, B. P., & Moorman, R. H. (1993). Justice as a mediator of the relationship between methods of monitoring and organizational citizenship behavior. Academy of Management Journal, 36(3), 527–566.Google Scholar
  39. Patterson, M. G., West, M. A., Shackleton, V. J., Dawson, J. F., Lawthom, R., Maitlis, S., et al. (2005). Validating the organizational climate measure: Links to managerial practices, productivity and innovation. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 26(4), 379–408.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  40. Peña-Suárez, E., Muñiz, J., Campillo-Álvarez, A., Fonseca-Pedrero, E., & García-Cueto, E. (2013). Assessing organizational climate: Psychometric properties of the CLIOR Scale. Psicothema, 25(1), 137–144.Google Scholar
  41. Perks, S., & Smith, E. E. (2008). Employee perceptions regarding whistle-blowing in the workplace: A South African perspective. SA Journal of Human Resource Management, 6(2), 15–24.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Pillay, S., Reddy, P. S., & Morgan, D. (2017). Institutional isomorphism and whistle-blowing intentions in public sector institutions. Public Management Review, 19(4), 423–442.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  43. Ponnu, C. H., Naidu, K., & Zamri, W. (2008). Determinants of whistle blowing. International Review of Business Research Papers, 4(1), 276–298.Google Scholar
  44. Rentsch, J. R. (1990). Climate and culture: Interaction and qualitative differences in organizational meanings. Journal of Applied Psychology, 75(6), 668.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Riedy, M. K., & Sperduto, K. (2014). At-will fiduciaries: The anomalies of a duty of loyalty in the twenty-first century. Nebraska Law Review, 93(2), 267–312.Google Scholar
  46. Rothschild, J. (2013). The fate of whistleblowers in nonprofit organizations. Nonprofit and Voluntary Sector Quarterly, 42(5), 885–901.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Rothwell, G. R., & Baldwin, N. J. (2007). Whistle-blowing and the code of silence in police agencies policy and structural predictors. Crime & Delinquency, 53(4), 605–632.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  48. Sampaio, D. B., & Sobral, F. (2013). Speak now or forever hold your peace? An essay on whistleblowing and its interfaces with the Brazilian culture. Brazilian Administration Review, 10(4), 370–388.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  49. Schoorman, F. D., Mayer, R. C., & Davis, J. H. (2007). An integrative model of organizational trust: Past, present, and future. Academy of Management Review, 32(2), 344–354.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  50. Seifert, D. L., Stammerjohan, W. W., & Martin, R. B. (2014). Trust, organizational justice, and whistleblowing: A research note. Behavioral Research in Accounting, 26(1), 157–168.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  51. Seifert, D. L., Sweeney, J. T., Joireman, J., & Thornton, J. M. (2010). The influence of organizational justice on accountant whistleblowing. Accounting, Organizations and Society, 35(7), 707–717.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  52. Steelman, L. A., Levy, P. E., & Snell, A. F. (2004). The feedback environment scale: Construct definition, measurement, and validation. Educational and Psychological Measurement, 64(1), 165–184.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Tagiuri, R., & Litwin, G. (1968). Organizational climate: Explorations of a concept. Boston: Harvard University- Business School.Google Scholar
  54. Tavani, H. T., & Grodzinsky, F. S. (2014). Trust, betrayal, and whistle-blowing: reflections on the Edward Snowden case. ACM SIGCAS Computers and Society, 44(3), 8–13.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  55. Uysal, H. T., & Yavuz, K. (2015). Test of complicity theory: is external whistleblowing a strategic outcome of negative I/O psychology. European Journal of Business and Management, 7(18), 115–124.Google Scholar
  56. Waytz, A., Dungan, J., & Young, L. (2013). The whistleblower’s dilemma and the fairness-loyalty tradeoff. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 49(6), 1027–1033.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  57. Wills, A. R., Biggs, H. C., & Watson, B. (2005). Analysis of a safety climate measure for occupational vehicle drivers and implications for safer workplaces. Australian Journal of Rehabilitation Counselling, 11(1), 8–21.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Wilmot, S. (2000). Nurses and whistleblowing: The ethical issues. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 32(5), 1051–1057.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  59. Yaman, E. (2009). The Validity and reliability of the mobbing scale (MS). Educational Sciences: Theory & Practice, 9(2), 981–988.Google Scholar
  60. Yeh, T.-J. (2009). The relationship between organizational trust and occupational commitment of volunteers. The Journal of Human Resource and Adult Learning, 5(1), 75–83.Google Scholar
  61. Zohar, D. (1980). Safety climate in industrial organizations: Theoretical and applied implications. Journal of Applied Psychology, 65(1), 96–102.CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Eurasia Business and Economics Society 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Business Administration DepartmentSelçuk ÜniversitesiKonyaTurkey
  2. 2.School of ManagementUniversity LavalQuébecCanada
  3. 3.Business Administration DepartmentHacettepe UniversityAnkaraTurkey
  4. 4.Department of ManagementPavillon Palasis Prince, Université Laval/University LavalQuébecCanada
  5. 5.University of ParakouParakouBenin

Personalised recommendations