1st Edition

Public Relations and Whistleblowing
Golden Handcuffs in Corporate Wrongdoing

  • Available for pre-order. Item will ship after May 30, 2021
ISBN 9781032005379
May 30, 2021 Forthcoming by Routledge
216 Pages

USD $44.95

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

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 co-exist. 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 behaviour and executives’ attitudes, it proposes a new theory of the phenomenon of golden handcuffs.


As public attitudes to corporations, 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.

Table of Contents

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

View More



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 published, or has had accepted for publication, [Forthcoming], Secrets, sources, whistleblowers, and leakers: Journalism in the Digital Age. [Review of the book Journalism After Snowden: The Future of the Free Press in the Surveillance State, E. Bell & T. Owen, [Eds.] Communication Booknotes Quarterly; (2020), I was just doing my job! Evolution, corruption, and public relations in interviews with government whistleblowers; (2016), Golden Handcuffs in the Fortune 1000? An employee-organization relationship survey of public relations executives and practitioners in the largest companies; (2015), Whistleblowing in the Fortune 1000: What practitioners told us about wrongdoing in corporations in a pilot study; (2011). Killing the messenger: A survey of public relations practitioners and organizational response to whistleblowing after Sarbanes-Oxley. (Doctoral dissertation); (2010), Evolutionary theory: The missing link for conceptualizing public relations; and (2007) with L. R. Kahle, Toward an evolutionary theory of marketing: Evolution and branding. Prior to entering academia, she had a 30-plus-year career in public affairs in government and public relations in the private sector.