1st Edition

Public Relations and Whistleblowing Golden Handcuffs in Corporate Wrongdoing

By Cary A. Greenwood Copyright 2021
    256 Pages
    by Routledge

    256 Pages
    by Routledge

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    There is a growing interest in corporate whistleblowing, but no comprehensive research has yet focused on public relations practice. Drawing on extensive research on Fortune 1000 and Wilshire 5000 corporations, this book reveals executives’ attitudes and relationships toward their organizations and their impact on whistleblowing.

    Perhaps unsurprisingly, it reveals that wrongdoing in corporations and the privileges of power coexist. Top-ranking public relations executives, who are mostly white and male, are more likely to be aware of wrongdoing but no more likely to blow the whistle, fundamentally due to their positive relationship with their employers. Using the new lens of evolutionary theory, this study explains whistleblowing, retaliation, and relationships, and in the light of the connection between whistleblowing behavior and executives’ attitudes, it proposes a new theory of the phenomenon of Golden Handcuffs.

    As public attitudes to corporations, corporate social responsibility (CSR), and transparency harden, these findings have serious implications for companies globally. Researchers, scholars, and advanced students in public relations, organizational communication, corporate communication, strategic communication, corporate reputation, and CSR will find this book full of revealing insights.

    Foreword; Introduction; CHAPTER I: Public Relations, Whistleblowing, and Evolution; CHAPTER II: History of Whistleblowing in The United States; CHAPTER III: Whistleblowing Research in Government, Management, and Law in the United States; CHAPTER IV: Whistleblowing Around the Globe; CHAPTER V: Whistleblowing Research in Journalism, Communication, and Public Relations in the United States; CHAPTER VI: Whistleblowing n Public Relations Study; CHAPTER VII: Whistleblowing in Public Relations Findings; CHAPTER VIII: Whistleblowing in Public Relations; APPENDICES


    Cary A. Greenwood (Ph.D., U. Oregon), APR, Fellow PRSA, is Associate Director for public relations research at the Debiasing and Lay Informatics Lab in the Center for Applied Social Research at the University of Oklahoma. She has taught public relations and researched evolutionary theory, whistleblowing, and corporate social responsibility (CSR), following a 30-plus-year career in public relations.