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					       Cultural Influences on Whistleblowing: A Study of Philippine and U.S. Managers




                                 JOHN P. KEENAN, Ph.D.
                          Executive Director, Leadership Programs
                                 ACCEL – Medaille College
                                     2 Hillsboro Drive
                                     Orchard Park, NY
                      (716) 667-2516 (phone/fax); (716) 390-9657 (cell)
                                jkeenan945@aol.com (email


                               STEVEN REMINGTON, Ph.D.
                              Associate Professor of Marketing
                          Harold Walter Siebens School of Business
                                   Buena Vista University
                                      610 West 4th St.
                                  Storm Lake, Iowa 50588
                        (712) 749-2474 (phone); (712) 749-1462 (fax)
                                Remington@bvu.edu.(email)




Publication Information:

Keenan, J. P. and Remington, S. (2002). Cultural Influences on Whistleblowing: A
      Study of Philippine and U.S. Managers. In Proceedings of the Thirty-First Annual
      Meeting of the Western Decision Sciences Institute, April 2-5, 2002, Las Vegas, NV.




                                             1
         Culture and Whistleblowing: A Study of Philippine and U.S. Managers


                                    ABSTRACT

       International commerce and the increasing globalization of our planet with

respect to political, social and economic realities results in a variety of new

dilemmas for leaders and managers in multinational organizations. One area

where major difficulties often arise concerns handling ethical problems within a

different cultural context. Whistleblowing is one possible response to ethical

problems. This study considers the differences in culture between a United States

sample of managers and a Phillipine sample of managers using Hofstede’s (1991)

theory of International Cultures. The study explores how these cultural differences

may help in our understanding of the differences in reported whistleblowing

tendencies.




                                          2
                                        INTRODUCTION

       International commerce and the increasing globalization of our planet with respect to

political, social and economic realities results in a variety of new dilemmas for leaders and

managers in multinational organizations. One area where major difficulties often arise concerns

handling ethical problems within a different cultural context. Unfortunately, little research has

been conducted on cross-cultural or multi-cultural ethics although efforts are being made in

developing a conceptual approach to cross-cultural ethics (Wines and Napier, 1992).

       While the study of cultural differences is intriguing in and of itself, the effect those

cultural differences have when it comes to the ethical decision making of managers is of practical

significance to researchers and organizations. One aspect of ethical decision making that has

received recent interest by researchers is whistleblowing (Miceli, & Near, 1992; Keenan, 2000,

1995; Keenan & Parikh, 2000, Keenan & Xin, 1999; Sims & Keenan, 1999). Whistleblowing

has been defined as present or former organization members reporting illegal, unethical, or

illegitimate activities under the control of organization leaders to parties who are willing and able

to take action to correct the wrongdoing (Keenan & McLain, 1992).

       Whistleblowing can be seen as a positive action (the employee=s attempt to improve the

organization) or a negative action (the employee=s attempt to turn-in the organization). With

either interpretation, the interest in the employee=s tendencies to whistleblow is significant, as

are any characteristics, individual or organizational, which can be used to predict or modify

whistleblowing tendencies.

       Multi-national organizations are taking greater interest in whistleblowing. Some have

established special departments for the receipt of whistleblowing reports (Ewing, 1983). Others

have established ethics codes which encourage employees to contact the organization's legal




                                                  3
counsel should they observe or become aware of possible illegal or unethical activities (Mathews,

1987). A study of international codes of conduct for multi-national corporations (MNEs) indicates

substantial agreement on the moral duties of MNEs (Getz, 1990).



Purpose of Study

       While a number of organizational and individual factors have been considered within the

study of whistleblowing, a major shortcoming of prior whistleblowing research concerns the fact

that there has been a tendency to examine whistleblowing from a culturally-bound perspective

without looking at cultural and international differences (Keenan & Parikh, 2000, Keenan & Xin,

1999, 1993). One explanation has to due with the fact that the concept of culture has been a

difficult one with respect to agreements on definition, influences on behavior, measurement, and

managerial practices (Adler, 1983; Hofstede, 1991; Kedia & Bhagar, 1988; Kroeber &

Kluckhohn, 1952). Despite such difficulties, the present paper attempts to extend

whistleblowing research into the international arena. This study will consider the differences in

culture between a United States sample of managers and a Philippine sample of managers using

Hofstede=s (1991) theory of International Cultures, and how those cultural differences may help

in our understanding of the differences in whistleblowing tendencies.

Hofstede=s Theory

       Hofstede (1991) theorized that there were four primary dimensions which could

differentiate the cultures of our world. They are classified as power distance, uncertainty

avoidance, individualism, and masculinity. A description of the relationship of each of these

classifications to the organizational environment follows.

       Power distance is "the extent to which the less powerful members of institutions and




                                                 4
organizations within a country expect and accept that power is distributed unequally" (Hofstede,

1991, p. 28). It ranges in value from zero, for a culture with a small power distance, to about

100, for a culture with a large power distance. Power distance refers to the degree to which

employees feel comfortable approaching and/or contradicting their supervisors. Organizations

within a large power distance culture centralize power. Employees are given instructions and are

expected to, and in most cases will, comply. The organizational structure is quite tall, with many

layers of management. Any contact between management and employee must be initiated by

management. "Superiors are entitled to privileges" and any visible indication of status increases

their authority (p. 35). In contrast, organizations within a small power distance culture are more

decentralized. Supervisors and employees are considered equal in status. The role a person plays

in the organization (manager for example) can be temporary and is established more for

convenience than an indication of superiority. The organizational structure tends to be flat and

managerial perks are avoided. Employees expect that they will be consulted before decision

making and listened to when they speak.

       Uncertainty avoidance is the degree to which employees feel threatened by unknown or

uncertain situations. Uncertainty avoidance is scored from zero, indicating a culture with the

weakest uncertainty avoidance, to 100, indicating a culture with the strongest uncertainty

avoidance. "Uncertainty avoiding cultures shun ambiguous situations. People in such cultures

look for a structure in their organizations . . . which makes events clearly interpretable and

predictable@ (Hofstede, 1991, p. 116). Organizations within a culture with a strong uncertainty

avoidance are more likely to have rules and procedures to govern the environment. Little is left

open to chance or interpretation. These rules, however, may or may not be followed nor do they

have to be logical or consistent. As long as a rule exists, the members of a culture with a strong




                                                  5
uncertainty avoidance are more comfortable, "even ineffective rules satisfy people's emotional

need for formal structure" (p. 121). Conversely, organizations within a culture with a weak

uncertainty avoidance are less likely to establish rules and procedures unless absolutely

necessary. "People in such societies [weak uncertainty avoidance cultures] pride themselves that

many problems can be solved without formal rules" (p. 121). Interestingly, while there are fewer

rules to follow within a culture with a weak uncertainty avoidance classification, these few rules

may be more likely to be followed than the multitude of rules found within a culture with strong

uncertainty avoidance.

       The dimension of individualism refers to the extent to which "the ties between

individuals are loose" (Hofstede, 1991, p. 51). In an individualist culture, everyone is expected

to look out for him/herself and his/her family. At the opposite end of the individualism

dimension is collectivism. Collectivism refers to the extent to which people view themselves as

a small part of a larger group. This dimension ranges from almost zero, indicating a collective

culture, to almost 100, indicating an individualistic culture. From the organizational perspective,

individualism can be described as an employee=s independence from the organization. Those

cultures which score high on this dimension focus on work goals which stress individual

achievements, rather than group achievements.

       Employees within an individualistic culture look out for their own interests. "Work

should be organized in such a way that this self-interest and the employer's interest coincide" (p.

63). Managers manage individuals in an individualistic culture and employment decisions are

based upon individual skills. In contrast, in an organization within a collective culture,

employees look out for their in-group. Employee actions are designed to benefit their in-group,

even if the individual him/herself must suffer. In a collective culture, managers manage groups




                                                 6
and employment decisions are based upon group membership and group achievements.

       The cultural characteristic of masculinity refers to societies where gender roles are clearly

divided. Men are expected to be "assertive, tough, and focused on material success" (Hofstede,

1991, p. 82). Women are expected to be "modest, tender, and concerned with the quality of life"

(p. 82). Societies where gender roles are not clearly divided; that is, men and women can be

tough and/or tender, are classified as feminine. The masculinity index ranges from zero, for

cultures which are feminine, to 100, for cultures which are masculine. An organization within a

feminine culture resolves conflicts by compromise and negotiation. Within this feminine

climate, employees work to live. In a masculine culture however, the organization is more likely

to resolve conflict by letting the conflicting parties fight it out; here, employees live to work.

       Hofstede (1991) has classified both the Philippine culture as well as the culture of the

United States of America on each of the four dimensions described above. His research

categorized 50 countries and 3 regions in total. We have used those classifications to compare

the two cultures within our sample.



Comparing Philippine and United States of America Cultures

       For the power distance dimension, the Philippines ranked 4 with a score of 94. The

United States ranked 38th, with a score of 40. A rank of one indicates the largest power distance,

and a rank of 53 indicates the smallest power distance. The power distance scores range from

104, for the country/region with the largest power distance; to 11, for the country/region with the

smallest power distance (Hofstede, 1991). Compared to other countries, the Philippines scores

very high while the United States scores moderate on this dimension. Given these kind of

differences, we felt that this was significant and warranted the inclusion of the power distance




                                                   7
dimension in our testing.

           For the dimension of uncertainty avoidance, the Philippines ranked 44, with a score of 44.

The United States ranked 43rd, with a score of 46. A rank of one indicates the strongest

uncertainty avoidance and a rank of 53 indicates the weakest uncertainty avoidance. The

uncertainty avoidance scores range from 112, for the country/region with the strongest

uncertainty avoidance; to 8, for the country/region with the weakest uncertainty avoidance. The

Philippines and the United States both scored at the moderate level on the uncertainty avoidance

dimension. Given the lack of significant differences, we felt that this did not warrant including

the uncertainty avoidance dimension in our testing.

           For the dimension of individualism, the Philippines ranked 31, with a score of 32. The

United States ranked 1st, with a score of 91. A rank of one indicates the country/region with the

strongest individualism, and a rank of 53 indicates the country/region with the strongest

collectivism. The scores range from a high of 91, for that country/region with the strongest

individualism culture; to a score of 6 for that country/region with the strongest collectivism

(weakest individualism) culture. The United States scored extremely high on the individualism

dimension, actually, the highest of those cultures studied by Hofstede (1991); while the

Philippines scored moderate on the individualism dimension, being more a of a collectivistic

culture. A collectivistic culture tends to emphasize filial piety, mutual obligations, and concern

for the needs of the group before those of oneself. We felt that these kind of differences, as

measured by the individualism dimension, may be significant enough to warrant inclusion in our

testing.

           For the dimension of masculinity, the Philippines ranked 11/12 (scores that are tied result

in a split ranking) with a score of 64. The United States ranked 15th, with a score of 62. A rank




                                                    8
of one indicates the country/region with the strongest masculine culture, and a rank of 53

indicates a country/region with the strongest feminine culture. The scores range from a high of

95, for that country/region with the strongest masculine culture; to a score of 5 for that

country/region with the strongest feminine culture. The United States ranks on the higher end of

the masculinity dimension compared to Turkey (Hofstede, 1991). We felt that this kind of small

difference between these two cultures, as measured by the masculinity dimension, was not

significant enough to warrant inclusion in our testing.



Whistleblowing

       When attempting to explain or predict whistleblowing, a number of issues are of interest.

To begin with, individual and organizational tendencies to whistleblow may lead to an

increased tendency to whistleblow are important ( Keenan, 2000, 1995, 1990; McLain & Keenan,

1999; Miceli and Near, 1992; Sims and Keenan, 1998). Tendencies to blow the whistle is a

measurement of how positively whistleblowing is considered. That is, whether the individual or

organization considers whistleblowing as the right thing to do. Positive attitudes toward

whistleblowing may help to predict or explain whistleblowing behavior. We propose individual

and organizational tendencies to whistleblow may be influenced by the cultural dimensions of

individualism (the expectation that the individual will look out for him/herself only) and power

distance (the degree to which employees feel comfortable approaching or contradicting

supervisors). Given the differences between the United States and Philippine cultures on the

individualism and power distance dimensions, we have included both in our tests.

       The United States sample scored higher than the Philippine sample on the individualism

dimension. We suggest that individuals within a culture scoring low on the individualism




                                                  9
dimension and thus higher on collectivism will tend to display greater degrees of responsibility

and obligation to the needs of the group. They might be thus expected to speak out with respect

to observations of wrongdoing that negatively effected the welfare of the collective whole. On

the other hand, the power distance dimension suggests that the Philippine sample will be less

disposed to both individual and organizational tendencies to whistleblow, because the Philippine

respondents are less likely to challenge the established authority patterns governing their

behavior. Given these two countervailing cultural influences, we expect that there will be no

significant differences between Philippine managers and United States managers with respect to

(a) an individual tendency to whistleblow, and (b) an organizational tendency to whistleblow.

Therefore, the following hypothesis is proposed:

       Hypothesis one: There will no significant differences between the United States

       managers, compared to Philippine managers, with respect to: (a) individual tendency to

       whistleblow, and (b) organizational tendency to whistleblow.



       In addition to the importance of individual and organizational tendencies to whistleblow,

the moral perception of wrongdoing may also be important in attempting to predict or explain

whistleblowing. Individual differences in the judgement of the severity of situations may lead to

an increased or decreased tendency to blow the whistleblow. We propose that this moral

perception of ethical behavior may be influenced by the cultural dimensions of individualism (the

expectation that the individual will look out for him/herself only). We suggest that individuals

within a culture scoring high on the individualism dimension will be less likely to perceive an

unethical situation as severe. The individualism dimension suggests that the Philippine sample

will perceive wrongdoing as more severe, because they are more collective, looking out for the




                                                10
larger group. The following hypothesis is therefore proposed:

       Hypothesis two: Philippine managers will have more strongly expressed perception of

       wrongdoing than United States managers.



       Fear of retaliation may also play a significant role in the tendency to whistleblow. Thus,

the measurement of this fear may be important in the explanation or prediction of

whistleblowing. We propose that the fear of retaliation for whistleblowing may be influenced by

the cultural dimension of power distance. Because the Philippine respondents have a very high

power distance score, they are less likely to challenge the established authority patterns

governing their organizations, will prefer to defer decisions to their bosses, and will tend to fear

reprisal if they spoke out and challenged authority. We thus expect United States managers will

report less fear of retaliation. Thus, we propose:

       Hypothesis three: The United States managers will report less fear of retaliation for

       whistleblowing than Philippine managers.



       The expressed likelihood to whistleblow may be helpful in our understanding and

prediction of whistleblowing (Keenan, 1995). We suggest that expressed likelihood to

whistleblow may be influenced by both the individual and power distance cultural dimensions;

individualism (the expectation that the individual will look out for him/herself only), and power

distance (the degree to which employees feel comfortable approaching or contradicting

supervisors). We suggest that those respondents in a culture scoring high on the power distance

dimension would indicate a decreased tendency to whistleblow. In this type of culture, employees

do not approach supervisors and defer decisions to those in authority position. On the other




                                                 11
hand, the individualism dimension suggests that the Philippine respondents will be more likely to

blow the whistle; because they are more collective, tending to display greater degrees of

responsibility to the welfare and needs of the group.

       Given these conflicting cultural dimensions, we therefore propose no differences between

the two groups in likelihood of blowing the whistle The following hypothesis is therefore

proposed:

       Hypothesis four: : There is no significant difference between United States and Philippine

       managers in expressed likelihood of blowing the whistle.



                                       METHODOLOGY

Subjects

       The populations for this study were managers in small to mid-size firms in the U.S. and

comparatively larger firms in the Philippines. The U.S. sample consisted of 186 managers.

Their mean age was 45, they had worked in the same firm for an average of nearly 14 years and

they had held their current position for an average of nearly 7 years. On average their companies

employed 119 people. The Philippine sample consisted of 110 managers. They had worked for

their firm for an average of nearly 18 years and had spent 15 years in their current position.

Their companies employed an average of 251 employees. Seventy three percent of U.S.

managers were male compared with 47% of Philippine managers. Descriptive statistics are

presented in table 1. Precautions were taken to ensure confidentiality.

Measures

       The questionnaire included items which measured managers' opinions and perceptions

about organization practices with respect to whistleblowing. It was a revised version of the U.S.




                                                12
Merit Systems Protection Board survey questionnaire which was used in a major study of

employee whistleblowing within federal agencies in 1980 (USMSPB,1981). Terminology was

Table 1: Demographic Characteristics Average (std.
dev)

                               Philippines
Variable                       (n=110)          U.S. (n=186)

Age                            46.42 (25.97) 44.74 (14.27)
Job Tenure                     15.15 (32.31) 6.74 (14.56)
Organizational tenure          17.65 (30.42) 13.92 (16.39)
Number of Employees            251.2 (376,92) 119.03 (232.51)
Gender - Percentage male       47%            73%


changed to reflect work environments of managers within the private sector. Using a Likert-type

response format, one question concerned issues related to moral perceptions of various kinds of

fraud and harmful behavior. Similar questions concerned issues related to the likelihood one

would report various kinds of wrongdoing, organizational policies and practices, individual

perceptions and attitudes toward whistleblowing, and degree of fear of retaliation or reprisal for

blowing the whistle. The second part of the questionnaire requested information on a variety of

demographic issues including sex, age, education, industry type, organizational size, managerial

level, and years of managerial experience

       There was a total of nine scales used in this study. These included scales to measure:

moral perceptions of major fraud (3 items), minor fraud (3 items), and harm to others (3 items);

the degree of likelihood of blowing the whistle on major fraud (3 items), minor fraud (4 items),

and harm to others (3 items); organizational propensity for whistleblowing (3 items); individual

propensity for whistleblowing ( 6 items); and degree of fear of retaliation for whistleblowing (4

items). Each of the scales has been tested and successfully used in previous studies of




                                                13
whistleblowing (Keenan, 2000, 1999, 1995). The reliability estimates for both the United States

and Singapore samples for each of the nine scales is reported in Table 2. Considering the fact

that the sample size for the current study is quite small, the alpha for all the scales appears to be

satisfactory.

        Moral Perceptions. Moral perceptions were examined by means of a nine-item scale

which was originally based on responses by managers attending management development

programs over several years about various kinds of incidences commonly faced related to fraud

and illegal behavior. Perceptions of minor fraud, major fraud, and harm to others are each

examined by means of three items. For example, one of the "minor fraud/illegality" items

respondents were asked to rate on a five-point scale ranging from not a fraud/illegality to a very

serious fraud/illegality was: Increasing a travel expense report $25 to cover the cost of drinks.

Your company has a written policy: "Thou shalt not be reimbursed for alcoholic beverages." An

example of a "harm to others" item was: Discriminating against another because of sex, race, age,

or religion. Lastly, an example of a "serious fraud/illegality" item was: Arranging for

subordinates to get paid for overtime not worked in exchange for 35% of overtime pay.

        Likelihood of Blowing the Whistle. This scale includes ten items measuring the

following three factors: "Likelihood of Reporting Major Fraud," "Likelihood of Reporting Minor

Fraud," and "Likelihood of Reporting Harm to Others." Using a Likert-type format, respondents

were asked to indicate the degree to which they would be likely to report activities such as

stealing company funds or property, bribery or kickbacks, using an official position for personal

benefits, giving unfair advantage to contractors or vendors, and reporting waste caused by buying

unnecessary or deficient goods or services.

        Personal Propensity. This five-item scale used a Likert-type format. Questions included




                                                  14
items asking respondents to indicate the degree that they approved such behaviors as blowing the

whistle on illegal and wasteful activities, felt personally obliged to blow the whistle if they

observed wrongdoing, and perceived that whistleblowing was in the best interest of the

company.

        Organization Propensity. This three-item scale used a similar Likert-type format.

Respondents were asked to indicate the degree that they perceived their organizations as

encouraging blowing the whistle on wrongdoing as well as providing sufficient information on

where to blow the whistle.

        Retaliation. This scale included four items. First, respondents indicated the degree of

adequacy of protection their company offers to employees reporting illegal or wasteful activities.

Two other questions concerned degree of confidence that one's supervisor and those above one's

supervisor would not take action against the respondent if they were to report illegal or wasteful

activities within organization operations. A final question asked whether it was possible for the

respondent's organization to effectively protect from reprisal an employee who discloses illegal

or wasteful activities.

                                                 RESULTS

        Table 2 presents means, standard deviations, and zero-order correlations for variables

explored for both Philippine and United States sample groups. Descriptive statistics for all study

variables are also displayed. A two-tailed t-test was conducted on the US and Philippine samples

to examine the differences between these two groups.

        Hypothesis 1 proposed that there would be no differences between the United States

managers, compared to Philippine managers, with respect to both individual and organizational

tendency to whistleblow. The results do not support this hypothesis indicating that Philippine




                                                 15
managers have a significantly stronger individual tendency to whistleblow (t = -2.36 , p > 0.05),

as well as a stronger organizational tendency to whistleblow (t = -3.64, p > 0.05).


Table 2: Descriptive Statistics and t-tests

                                 Philippines                                                            t-
Variable                       (n=110)                               U. S. (n=186)                  value

                               Mean              s.d.Alpha        Mean      s.d.          Alpha


Individual propensity                  4.63     0 .61      0.84      4.46          0.61      0.78      -2.36*

Organizational propensity              4.30     0.59       0.28      4.01          0.70      0.66      -3.64*
Moral perceptions -
   Against major fraud                   4.31    1.17      0.76      4.31          0.79      0.31        0.22
   Against minor fraud                   3.84    1.20      0.85      3.22          0.80      0.69      -5.29*
   Against harm to others                4.33    1.24      0.85      4.55          0.84      0.88        1.83
Fear of retaliation                      2.47    1.11      0.82      2.26          0.78      0.70      -1.93*
Likelihood to whistle blow
   Major fraud                           4.53    1.15      0.94      4.69          0.52      0.71        1.66
   Minor fraud                           4.12    1.05      0.88      3.78          0.82      0.80      -3.11*
   Harm to others                        4.27    1.14      0.90      4.57          0.72      0.79       2.79*

                               * p < .05

        Hypothesis 2 proposed that Philippine managers will have more strongly expressed

perception of wrongdoing than United States managers. The results partially support this

hypothesis. For one of the three measures of moral perception (minor fraud), the Philippine

managers reported significantly higher scores than the United States managers (t = -5.29, p <

0.05). For the other two measures (major fraud and harm to others), there were no differences

between the two cultures.

        Hypothesis 3 proposed that the United States managers will report less fear of retaliation

for whistleblowing than Philippine managers. The results support this hypothesis (t = -1.93, p >

.05).




                                                 16
       Hypothesis 4 proposed that there would be no significant difference between United

States and Philippine managers in expressed likelihood of blowing the whistle. The results

partially support this hypothesis. There was not significant difference between US managers and

Philippine managers with respect to likelihood to blow the whistle on major fraud. On the other

hand, there were significant differences between the groups on the other two variables. For

example, Philippine managers, compared to their United States counterparts, were much more

likely to blow the whistle on minor fraud (t = -3.11, p < 0.05). On the other hand, United States

managers were more likely to blow the whistle on harm to others ( t= 2.79, p < 0.051).

                                          DISCUSSION

       Our findings for hypothesis one, do not support our proposition that there would be no

significant differences between the U.S. and Philippine respondents with respect to both

individual and organizational tendencies to whistleblow. The Hofstede’s individualism

dimension suggests that the Philippine sample would be more disposed to both individual and

organizational tendencies to whistleblow. Cultures scoring low in the individualism dimension

are classified as collective. Organizations within a collective culture support the individual as a

small part of a larger group and would therefore encourage behavior that acts in support of the

interests and needs of the group, inclusive of whistleblowing. The Philippine sample scored low

on the individualism dimension, because they are more collective, deferring to authority and the

larger group.

       On the other hand, the power distance dimension suggests that the Philippine sample will

be less disposed to both individual and organizational tendencies to whistleblow; because the

Philippine respondents are less likely to speak up to their supervisors and challenge the

established authority patterns governing their behavior. Given these countervailing dispositions,




                                                 17
it was expected that there would be no differences between the two groups. Apparently, there is

a stronger tendency in the Philippine culture on the part of responsibility felt to the welfare of the

collective whole that outweighed power distance tendencies on both individual and

organizational tendencies to whistleblow.

         When testing hypothesis two, our results indicated that the Philippine sample expressed

more severe perceptions for wrongdoing classified as minor, less serious forms of fraud, but not

with respect to major fraud or harm to others forms of wrongdoing. These results might relate

to the collectivistic quality of the Philippine culture. Unlike the United States, which has a

strong individualistic culture that supports an expectation that the individual will look out for

him/herself only, the Philippine culture emphasis looking out for the welfare of the collective

whole first. Thus there might be a tendency to feel that wrongdoings, even of a less serious

nature, are cause for concern since they are seen as violating the welfare and well-being of the

group.

         Another possible factor related to this is the dimension of short versus long term

orientation. Philippine culture tends to be short-termist whereas the United States culture might

be viewed as comparatively more long-termist. In short-term orientations, individuals are

expected to keep “face”, respect tradition, and reciprocate for gifts, favors, and greetings. When

violations of a less serious order occur, the Philippine managers feel more strongly about the

perceived negative outcomes experienced by violating these understandings and traditions of

reciprocation and concern for the welfare of the group.

         Hypothesis three proposed that there would be significant differences between the United

States sample and the Philippine sample on expressed fear of retaliation for whistleblowing.

This expectation of differences was based upon the cultural dimension of power distance.




                                                 18
Because the Philippine respondents have a very high power distance score, they are less likely to

challenge the established authority patterns governing their organizations, will prefer to defer

decisions to their bosses, and will tend to fear reprisal if they spoke out and challenged authority.

Our results support this expectation.

       We tested expressed likelihood to whistleblow in hypothesis four. Expressed likelihood

was measured for major fraud, minor fraud, and harm to others. We proposed that there would

be no significant differences between the United States sample and the Philippine sample for

expressed likelihood to whistleblow. This expectation was based upon the countervailing

cultural dimensions of individualism and power distance. The individualism dimension suggests

that the Philippine respondents will be more likely to blow the whistle because they are more

disposed to be concerned with the welfare of the collective whole rather than their own personal

needs. Yet the power distance dimension suggests that the Philippine sample will be less likely

to blow the whistle than the United States sample because they tend to defer to those in authority

positions, tend not to approach their supervisors, and hesitate to take actions themselves

(Hofstede, 19991).

       Our findings indicate the Philippine managers feel more comfortable in speaking out

about minor, less serious forms of wrongdoing than their American counterparts. Thus the

cultural dimension of collectivism appears to have more strongly effected them to whistleblow

against minor wrongdoing than the power distance dimension. On the other hand, the United

States manager’s greater likelihood to blow the whistle on harm to others wrongdoing, perhaps is

indicative of American’s concern with human rights and workplace safety.

Limitations and Implications For the Study

       Hofstede=s (1991) theory provides a framework for uncovering cultural differences




                                                 19
between groups which may help explain and predict managerial whistleblowing behavior. While

this theory cannot explain all differences between two cultures, the theory does never-the-less

provide insight.

       We recognize that the direct measurement of actual whistleblowing behavior may be the

best way to understand or explain whistleblowing tendencies; however this is often not realistic

in social science research. In addition, waiting for a behavior to occur does little for any

predictive benefit which might be gained from advanced knowledge. Asking respondents how

they would respond in a given situation is commonly used as a poor (but never-the-less

measurable in advanced) substitute.

       Age, education level, position level, organizational tenure, gender, and religious

preference have all been linked to whistleblowing tendencies (Graham, 1986; Keenan, 1990;

Miceli & Near, 1988; Sims & Keenan, 1999). Given the potential influences on whistleblowing

tendencies by demographic characteristics, samples need to be better matched on these

characteristics in future studies of Philippine and United States managers.

       Lastly, as Philippine and United States companies become increasingly diverse, more

research attention is clearly warranted on studying whistleblowing across cultures and across

nations. We recommend future cross-cultural research on ethical decision making, and hope that

other researchers will gain from our attempt at linking international cultural theory and

whistleblowing behavior.

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