Adopting a whistleblowing system: A study on the use and design in Swedish municipalities

University essay from Lunds universitet/Företagsekonomiska institutionen

Abstract: The purpose of the study was to investigate how and why the municipalities in Sweden are using whistleblowing systems. The theoretical framework was based on the institutional context of Swedish municipalities, previous research on whistleblowing and the different factors that affect the adoption of a whistleblowing system. A quantitative study was conducted through a questionnaire which was sent out to public managers in all Swedish municipalities. The conclusion is that the adoption of whistleblowing systems in Swedish municipalities is still in the early phase with the majority still not using it. It is not considered a fashion in Swedish municipalities yet, however the adoption is increasing. The whistleblowing systems in the adopting municipalities are internal, mainly focused on the employees and covers a wide range of events. The adoption is a political decision and has happened within the last five years. Adopters tend to be large municipalities that value legitimacy high. A whistleblowing system seem to be adopted mostly for its’ symbolic value and not to increase effectiveness. The relevance of the received reports is low, however, adopters are satisfied. Available resources is also a factor that might affect the adoption. Nonadopters believe that the guidelines and routines in place today are sufficient.

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