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ERIC Number: ED288229
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 1987-Nov
Pages: 18
Abstractor: N/A
Where Were the Whistleblowers? The Case of Allan McDonald and Roger Boisjoly.
Stewart, Lea P.
Employees who "blow the whistle" on their company because they believe it is engaged in practices that are illegal, immoral, or harmful to the public, often face grave consequences for their actions, including demotion, harassment, forced resignation, or termination. The case of Allan McDonald and Roger Boisjoly, engineers who blew the whistle on Morton Thiokol's poor management practices when the company agreed to launch the shuttle Challenger even after concerns for safety had been expressed, illustrates the problems involved in whistleblowing. McDonald was reassigned and Boisjoly took disability leave to recover from depression over the Challenger disaster. The whistleblower, if his or her charges are correct, characterizes one of the dilemmas of complex organizations: how to restrict the flow of information up the organizational hierarchy and still insure that accurate, useful information reaches organizational decision makers. NASA has since instituted an anonymous whistleblowing system, retaining an outside firm to investigate the claim before it reaches NASA personnel. However, it is naive to think that "a message sent is a message received," and it does not appear as though the new system will avert such disasters as the Challenger explosion. (Fifty-one references are included.) (JC)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A