Employees’ intention to blow the whistle: The role of fairness and moral identity

Karin Proost, Adríana Pavlinská, Elfi Baillien, Lieven Brebels, Anja Van den Broeck


In this study we focused on key concepts – moral identity and fairness – in order to explain whistleblowing intention. We examined the relationship between intention to blow the whistle and moral identity, and explored the moderating effect of perceived supervisor procedural fairness in this relationship. Our results showed that employees (N = 278) with a strong moral identity were more likely to blow the whistle on wrongdoing of which they had become aware of, and employees who were low in moral identity were less likely to blow the whistle. Furthermore, we found that the impact of moral identity on the intention to blow the whistle is increased by high procedural fairness, and that low procedural fairness leaves this relationship insignificant. These findings represent new insights into the study of whistleblowing.


intention to whistleblow; moral identity; organizational justice

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