International Journal of Business and Social Science

ISSN 2219-1933 (Print), 2219-6021 (Online) DOI: 10.30845/ijbss


Accounting Students' Intent to Blow the Whistle on Corporate Fraudulent Financial Reporting: An Experiment
Danny Kennett, Alexis Downs, M. George Durler

When an employee becomes aware of corporate management misconduct, he/she has two alternatives: blow the whistle or remain silent. In a whistle-blowing situation, the individual weighs the personal costs and societal benefits of blowing the whistle versus the personal benefits and societal costs of remaining silent. This study reports the results of an experiment involving accounting majors to ascertain their intent to externally blow the whistle on massive fraudulent financial reporting given specified personal and societal consequences for each alternative. While approximately 75% of the participants indicated a tendency to, none were certain they would blow the whistle. The decision to blow the whistle or remain silent is the result of a difficult and complex decision-making process. Suggestions for future research that permits a decision-making process are provided.

Full Text: PDF