Speak up? Listen up? Whistleblow? In their own words – Insights into the ethical dilemmas of ICAS members
In a series of extracts from ICAS research - Speak up? Listen up? Whistleblow? - we hear from ICAS members about the real-life ethical dilemmas they have faced - “In their own words”…
Speak up and listen up mechanisms are vitally important for an effective organisational culture. Encouraging and empowering individuals to have the confidence to promote good behaviour, influence others, and speak up if they encounter ethical issues, allows issues to be dealt with at the earliest opportunity before they escalate.
But ICAS recognises that speaking up is not always easy or appreciated.
In order to understand the types of situations ICAS members may find themselves in, and how they deal with ethical dilemmas, and with a view to providing effective professional guidance and support, ICAS commissioned a research project and published two research papers reflecting the results of this research:
- “Speak up? Listen up? Whistleblow? A survey of ICAS members”, Paisey, C, Paisey NJ and Tsalavoutas, I (2019)
- “Speak up? Listen up? Whistleblow? In their own words – Insights into the ethical dilemmas of ICAS members”, Paisey C (2019)
The first stage of the project consisted of a review of academic literature on speaking up, listening up, and whistleblowing, ethics and organisational culture, which then formed the basis of a questionnaire survey of ICAS members.
For the second stage, ICAS members were interviewed to gain a deeper understanding of their ethical dilemmas and actions, and in particular their speak up, listen up and whistleblowing responses to those dilemmas.
A summary of the research, its findings and recommendations can be found here.
In the following series of extracts from the research we hear from ICAS members about the real-life situations they have faced - “In their own words”…
- The inevitability of encountering an ethical dilemma
- Formative experiences
- Technical issues
- Behavioural issues
In addition, following on from the research, the ICAS Ethics Board published the guidance paper – Organisational culture: The importance of listening – to highlight not only the vital importance of speak up mechanisms to the long-term success of organisations but also that it is just as critical for organisations to ‘listen up’ when employees raise concerns as it is for individuals within organisations to ‘speak up’.
Catch up on the ICAS Insights webinar: Speak up? Listen Up? Whistleblow? (7 July 2020) to hear from author of the research Catriona Paisey and Paul Boyle OBE, Chair of whistleblowing charity Protect, about how CAs can take a stand and speak up.
Hear more about the key findings from the author of the research Catriona Paisey, Professor of Accounting, University of Glasgow