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Business and Professional Ethics Journal

Volume 29, Issue 1/4, 2010

Kim R. Sawyer, Jackie Johnson, Mark Holub
Pages 85-107

The Necessary Illegitimacy of the Whistleblower

This article examines the plight of the whistleblower using elements of organizational legitimacy theory. In recognizing the negative correlation between the actions of the organization and the whistleblower it becomes clear that the continuing legitimacy of the organization necessitates the illegitimacy of the whistleblower. This helps explain the continual blacklisting of the whistleblower and their vilification, resulting in the destruction of both their professional career and their reputation. Only protective legislation will provide any guarantees for the whistleblower.

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