Supporting whistleblowers is vital for detecting and preventing bad behaviour
The recent news of an ex-employee’s accusation of misconduct at Syngenta brings up a painful (but sometimes painfully important) set of related topics: misconduct and whistleblowing. Now, it has to be said immediately, and in capital letters, that I am Not Licensed to Dispense Legal Advice, so don’t construe this column that way. In fact, the soundest advice that I can give someone who’s in such a situation is to consult someone who is qualified in these matters.
A great paper about whistleblowing, research misconduct and institutional processes. We have included links to eight related items.
Many people will have lingering doubts about how well internal controls hold for cases of major misconduct
Another big variable is what you might have done about the problem through a company’s own procedures. Every biopharma company I’ve worked at has had a hotline, generally quite well-publicised, for reporting misconduct. I have never had occasion to use any of them (fortunately), but I have definitely heard of cases where they worked as designed. That said, many people will have lingering doubts about how well such internal controls will hold for cases of major misconduct, things involving significant business or regulatory impacts or the behaviour of high-ranking company officers…