Date of release: Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Dr Wim VanderkerckhoveA new national report which will make it easier for people to carry out 'whistleblowing' – the practice of exposing wrongdoing in the workplace – has been led by University of Greenwich expert Dr Wim Vandekerckhove.

The report, which examines the challenges, opportunities and best practices for speaking out across different industries and sectors, was published on Tuesday 10 May.

Dr Vandekerckhove, pictured, from the university's Business School, has been a leading voice in establishing whistleblower protection in the UK. He says: "Previously, the subject has been researched mainly from the point of view of the whistleblower, the person raising the concern. The innovation in our research is that we looked at whistleblowing from the point of view of the person receiving the concern. We gained insights into what structures and arrangements allow them to be responsive and take up the concerns with necessary independence."

Findings from the report show that effective speak-up arrangements involve a number of different channels through which employees can voice a concern, such as Human Resources, compliance and board members, as well as different interfaces such as in person, telephone, web-based methods and apps. Companies which are responsive to such concerns ultimately build greater trust, the report finds, and can also help organisations identify potential and previously unseen risks.

The research recommends that organisations put robust systems in place to respond to all concerns, which includes making sure that any concerns are systematically dealt with, and using aggregated data on speak-up activity for the purposes of risk management and people management.

Led by the University of Greenwich, the project was carried out in partnership with Warwick Business School and Queen's University Belfast. It was jointly funded by ACCA, the global body for professional accountants, and the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).

Based within the university's Work & Employment Research Unit (WERU), Dr Vandekerckhove is also co-editor of the recently published International Handbook on Whistleblowing Research, which brings together various experts who analyse three decades of activity in this area.

A member of the Advisory Board of the Advice Centre for Whistleblowing in the Netherlands, he has previously advised Transparency International and the Council of Europe. He frequently speaks on this topic at academic and corporate events in the UK and overseas, and has led a national report into whistleblowing in the NHS..
There has been widespread national and regional media coverage for Dr Vandekerckhove's previous work on whistleblowing, which has featured on BBC Radio Five Live and BBC World News as well as in The Guardian and the Huffington Post. His research can be viewed at:

Twitter: @VdkWim


To read the report, Effective Speak-up Arrangements for Whistleblowers, in full, and to see a video interview with Dr Vandekerckhove:

Story by Public Relations