‘Whistleblowing Triangle’: Framework and Empirical Evidence

  • Hengky Latan
  • Charbel Jose Chiappetta Jabbour
  • Ana Beatriz Lopes de Sousa Jabbour
Original Paper


This work empirically tests the concept of the ‘whistleblowing triangle,’ which is modeled on the three factors encapsulated by the fraud triangle (pressure or financial incentives, opportunity and rationalization), in the Indonesian context. Anchored in the proposition of an original research framework on the whistleblowing triangle and derived hypotheses, this work aims to expand the body of knowledge on this topic by providing empirical evidence. The sample used is taken from audit firms affiliated with both the big 4 and non-big 4 companies operating in Indonesia. The results of analysis using the PLS-PM method found a significant relationship between the components of the whistleblowing triangle and the intention of blowing the whistle. We found that financial incentives are the most significant predictor of auditors’ intention to blow the whistle in Indonesia. Other components, such as opportunity and rationalization, also play an important role in supporting auditors’ intention to blow the whistle. Our findings also suggest that related pressures are the top priority for audit firms in Indonesia to consider in increasing whistleblowing intention. We expand the previous literature on whistleblowing which has been derived from the components of the fraud triangle (Brown et al. in Account Public Interest 16(1):28–56, 2016; Smaili and Arroyo in J Bus Ethics,, 2017) by adding empirical evidence.


Business ethics Whistleblowers Whistleblowing intention Whistleblowing triangle Reporting fraud 



The authors received no financial support for the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical Approval

This article does not contain any studies with human participants or animals performed by any of the authors. For this type of study, formal consent is not required.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Hengky Latan
    • 1
    • 2
  • Charbel Jose Chiappetta Jabbour
    • 3
  • Ana Beatriz Lopes de Sousa Jabbour
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of AccountingSTIE Bank BPD JatengSemarangIndonesia
  2. 2.HLC ConsultingSemarangIndonesia
  3. 3.Montpellier Business SchoolMontpellier Research in ManagementMontpellier, Cédex 4France

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