Hull University Business School, University of Hull, Hull, UK
In their valuable discussion of whistleblowing in healthcare organisations, Mannion and Davies highlight the importance of organisational culture in influencing whether people raise concerns, and whether these concerns are listened to and acted upon. The role of leadership in shaping organisational culture is well-established1 and in this commentary, we will examine the influence of leaders in creating cultures of silence or cultures of voice.
Schein, EH. Organizational Culture and Leadership. 4th ed. San Francisco: John Wiley and Sons; 2010.
Alford CF. Whistle-blowers: how much we can learn from them depends on how much we can give up. Am Behav Sci. 1999;43:264-277. doi:10.1177/00027649921955254
Park H, Blenkinsopp J, Park M. The influence of an observer’s value orientation and personality type on attitudes toward whistleblowing. J Bus Ethics. 2014;120(1):121-129. doi:10.1007/s10551-013-1908-7
Blenkinsopp J, Edwards MS. On not blowing the whistle: quiescent silence as an emotion episode. In: Zerbe WJ, Härtel CE, Ashkanasy NM, eds. Emotions, Ethics, and Decision Making. Bingley, UK: Emerald Group Publishing; 2008:181-206.
Mannion R, Davies HT. Cultures of silence and cultures of voice: the role of whistleblowing in healthcare organisations. Int J Health Policy Manag. 2015;4(8):503-505. doi:10.15171/ijhpm.2015.120
Harter N. Socrates’ mission against reproachable ignorance: leaders who refuse to acknowledge their ignorance and instead suppress criticism. In: Muhr SL, Lemmergaard J, eds. Critical Perspectives on Leadership: Emotion, Toxicity, and Dysfunction. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar; 2013.
Weinstein D. Bureaucratic Opposition: Challenging Abuses at the Workplace. Oxford: Pergamon Press; 1979.
Bevan G, Hood C. Have targets improved performance in the English NHS? BMJ. 2006;332(7538):419. doi:10.1136/bmj.332.7538.419
Kerr S. On the folly of rewarding A, while hoping for B. Acad Manage J. 1975;18(4):769-783.
Kohn LT, Corrigan JM, Donaldson MS, eds. To Err Is Human: Building a Safer Health System. Washington, DC: National Academy Press, Institute of Medicine; 1999.
Department of Health. An organisation with a memory: report of an expert group on learning from adverse events in the NHS chaired by the Chief Medical Officer. London: The Stationary Office; 2000.