Whistleblowing and Anti-Corruption Crusade: Evidence From Nigeria

Bolanle Ogungbamila


The legal framework to fighting corruption has been less effective probably because it is evidence-based. This study investigated the extent to which whistleblowing predicted Corruption Perception Index (CPI) score, the extent to which employees engaged in whistleblowing, and why they did not report cases of corruption. Respondents were 536 employees (298 males; 238 females) sampled from public organizations in southwestern Nigeria. Their ages averaged 32.13 (SD =9.78). Results of the simple regression indicated that the country’s CPI score significantly increased with whistleblowing. Results of the χ2 test indicated that majority of the respondents were discouraged from blowing the whistle because of social and psychological factors such as the feelings that whistleblowing would not bring desired change, fear of being ostracized, the perceived stress associated with being a witness to corrupt acts, perceived inefficiency of the court process, the perceived clumsiness in the whistleblowing process, the feelings that corrupt persons were too powerful, and the feelings that corruption had no direct victims. There were no gender differences in the effect of the social and psychological factors in whistleblowing. Similarly, there were no gender differences in the frequency of whistleblowing from 2001 to 2012. However, in the 2013 (January to June) significant gender differences occurred in the frequency of whistleblowing with more females engaging in whistleblowing than males. Implications of the findings for theory and research were discussed.


Whistleblowing; Corruption; Gender; Nigeria

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3968/%25x


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