The Pattern of Factors Affecting the Whistle-blowing with Emphasis on the Bystander Effect

Document Type : Research Paper


1 Associate Prof., Faculty of Accounting, Imam Khomeini International University, Ghazvin, Iran.

2 Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Accounting, Bandar Abbas Branch, Islamic Azad University, Bandar Abbas, Iran.


Objective: Internal whistle-blowing is known as one of the most effective methods for identifying fraud. Understanding the factors influencing the reporting of fraud according to the bystander effect can be a great help in reducing fraud. This is important in this study with the aim of the pattern of factors affecting the whistle-blowing with emphasis on the bystander effect.
Methods: To answer the research question, Meta-composition, content analysis, and semi-structured interviews with experts (Delphi) were used. A total of 61 articles related to the research topic include fraud, spectator, bystander effect, fraud report, whistle-blowing, diffusion of responsibility, non-motivated, and disclosure of illegal activities, were analyzed and 14 experts were interviewed.
Results: Analyzes show that 5 individual structures (including 19 cases and cases such as weakness of courage and fear of evaluation and judgment), interpersonal (including 4 cases and cases such as unfamiliarity with the principles of social behavior and weakness in social responsibility), moral- Cultural (including 9 cases and cases such as weakness in piety and spirituality and lack of honesty and integrity), administrative-managerial (including 12 cases and cases such as lack of legal and social support and lack of organizational transparency) and the nature of the violation (including 7 cases and cases such as The number of informed people and the uncertainty of the occurrence of violations affect the internal reporting of financial violations) because of the spectator phenomenon. Also, each structure has components, and each component affects the spectator and internal reporting of financial violations.
Conclusion: In some cases, the violation can be reported to other employees, but instead of reporting, they only become spectators who have observed the violation. Spectator management allows employees to report financial violations. Violators are in front of the eyes of spectators who feel responsible for exposing the violation. This study examined this issue and showed that paying attention to the five identified structures will reduce corruption and misconduct and will protect the interests of stakeholders and the public. It also provides a platform for employees to report violations in organizations.


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