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Dow Chemical Company Whistleblowing Case Research Paper

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Updated: May 1st, 2020

Whistleblowers are usually people who are responsible and have well-established moral values. These people focus on the long-term consequences of unlawful actions rather than authority and power. Whistleblowers are good at solving ethical dilemmas, as every case is associated with the conflict of interests. Thus, the whistleblower may feel compassion for the offender and be reluctant to unveil fraudulent activities. However, these people also see that, if unstopped, the offender may continue wrongdoing and cause more damage to the company.

They understand that the company’s responsibility is one of its competitive advantages, and any unlawful activities of top management may harm the entire organization as well as the community (Cihon & Castagnera, 2013).

Some people think that whistleblowers are traitors of the company but, in fact, these employees make people (partners, customers, their colleagues, people living in the community) believe that unlawful actions will always be detected and offenders will be punished, which will diminish unlawful activities and increase trust.

One of the most important characteristic features of whistleblowers is confidence, as they have to be confident they have made the right conclusion based on extensive research. They have to be sure that they are doing everything right.

A recent case of whistleblowing occurred at Dow Chemical Co (Dow whistleblower can pursue unlawful firing claim, 2014). Kardell (2015) reports that Kimberly Wood, who was responsible for investigations of fraud and misconduct, detected the unlawful activity of Andrew Liveris (CEO of the company) who spent the company’s funds on personal expenses.

The funds spent by the CEO were “significant,” which made the case quite serious and urgent (Kardell, 2015, n.p.). It is necessary to note that Wood has worked for the company for 25 years, and she has been a responsible, competent, and confident employee.

Wood addressed her superiors as this was her responsibility, and she expected the top management would react accordingly as such situations are referred to in the company’s corporate culture and many regulations.

In publicly traded companies, such cases should be investigated, and the offenders should be fined and/or fired, as such activities are potentially harmful to investors, and they pose hazards to the company’s development. Nonetheless, the top management did not want to investigate the case further and simply fired the whistleblower. Wood went to court under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act.

The present case can be seen as conventional rightful whistleblowing as an employee unveiled unlawful activities of a top manager. The CEO caused certain damage to the company’s revenue (he could use the company’s money for his purposes more than once) as well as its reputation. Clearly, employees should report if they detect such fraudulent activities. More so, the employee was fired, and she has the right to seek the protection of her rights as she was acting in accordance with the law.

The whistleblower is likely to be totally protected under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. The act holds it that employees are encouraged to report on any fraudulent activities that can cause harm to stakeholders, and these employees will be protected under the act if they are fired or prosecuted in any way (Cihon & Castagnera, 2013). Liveris’ actions could potentially damage the company’s investors. The money could be used for the development of the company, distributed among stakeholders, and so on.

Clearly, Wood has the right to be hired again. More so, she may obtain certain rewards for appropriate and lawful behavior. The top managers involved in the case are likely to be fined. They may also be imprisoned for up to 10 years (Cihon & Castagnera, 2013).

This case may also have negative effects on the company as partners and investors may lose their trust and stop working with the organization. The company may also find it difficult to hire high profile and talented employees as they will be unwilling to work in a company that fires professionals when they simply do their job.

Reference List

Cihon, P., & Castagnera, J. (2013). Employment and labor law. Mason, OH: Cengage Learning.

. (2014). Reuters. Web.

Kardell, S. (2015). Judge will allow Dow whistleblower to file wrongful termination suit. JD Supra® Business Advisor. Web.

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