Posted: December 12, 2015 in Uncategorized

According to The National Health and Medical Research Council (2015) ethical conduct is more than doing the right thing, it involves acting with the right attitude out of respect for another, requiring a heightened ethical awareness of the situation, which requires every circumstance to be deliberated on its own merit with an appreciation to the context. I believe ethical considerations need to be applied when sharing private information by distinguishing the difference between right and wrong for that particular circumstance. The requirement to access private information may be crucial for the acquisition of knowledge. It is important to consider whether the information is being shared for a good intention or a bad intention . If the decision to share private information is for the wrong reason, then this could have negative consequences and be construed as being deceitful or misleading (Kim 2014, p.302). Kim (2014, p. 291) argues that having control of information can enhance or consolidate power.

As described by the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (2015), a whistleblower is someone who has information that exposes misconduct, dishonest or illegal activity within his or her organisation. The information reported should be investigated and considered whether it is factually correct. If the shared information were substantiated, I would argue that sharing the information would be considered ethical due to the positive outcome for the whistleblower.

Lew (2015) argues that gossip is harmful and can destroy trust whilst causing harm to another. Gossip is often unfounded rumours that lack respect for another and often said whilst the target is not present. I feel that this kind of negative information sharing could be considered unethical as it often lacks respect and factual bases. To remain ethical in our decisions we must remember it is important that we do not invent rationalisations to justify our decisions (Eunson 2012, p.28).

85636-81470Psychology Today (2012) illustrates gossip and rationalisation.



Department of Australian Securities & Investments Commission 2015, Guidance for whistleblowers, viewed 11 December 2015

Department of The National Health and Medical Research Council 2015, National statement on ethical conduct in human research, viewed 11 December 2015

Eunson, B 2015, Communicating in the 21st Century, 3rd Edition, e-book, Wiley, Australia.

Kim, S 2014, ‘Is it okay to tell? Children’s judgements about information disclosure’, British Journal of Developmental Psychology, vol. 32, no. 3, pp. 291-304.

Lew, H 2015, Wagging tongues: Is workplace gossip holding you back?, viewed 11 December 2015

Psychology Today 2012, digital image, psychology today, viewed 11 December 2015

  1. stephyy90 says:

    Hi Emma,

    I enjoyed reading your blog entry as i found it interesting to read and easy to follow. I had never really understood what the term “whistleblower” meant until reading your blog. It is evident that you have done some great research into the topic. Look forward to reading your other posts.



    P.S I love the theme of your blog!

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