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Networked Whistleblowing, Counter-Hegemony and the Challenge to Systemic Corruption

Lookup NU author(s): Professor Iain Munro



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License (CC BY-NC 4.0).


Whistleblowing plays a crucial role in revealing organizational misconduct and systemic corruption in industry and government. This article investigates changing practices of whistleblower activism, with particular reference to the role of solidarity and the increased role of support networks. Many modern whistleblower disclosures have revealed gaping flaws in the system of global governance related to a range of important social and economic issues, such as tax evasion, global mass surveillance, the use of torture and illegal wars of aggression. All these forms of systemic corruption are reliant on the use of secrecy havens to conceal the abuse from public scrutiny and democratic oversight. Counter-hegemonic social movements that oppose forms of systemic corruption can find important allies in those whistleblowers, who leak vital information about misconduct and corruption to the public. In this article we argue that there is a clear relationship of mutual support between whistleblowing and activist social movements, both in the process of whistleblowing and in furthering the campaigns of the social movements themselves. We theorize this, unpacking the processes and dynamics underlying the relationship, and offering a framework for analysis. The article concludes with a discussion of the changing role of whistleblower activism and support networks in undertaking social reform and counter-hegemonic practice.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Munro I, Kenny K

Editor(s): Gabbioneta C; Minoja M; Greenwood R

Publication type: Book Chapter

Publication status: Published

Book Title: Organizational Wrongdoing as the "Foundational" Grand Challenge : Consequences and Impact

Year: 2022

Volume: 85

Pages: 121-140

Print publication date: 10/07/2023

Online publication date: 25/07/2023

Acceptance date: 25/10/2022

Series Title: Research in the Sociology of Organizations

Number of Volumes: 1

Publisher: Emerald Publishing

Place Published: Bingley


DOI: 10.1108/S0733-558X20230000085007

ePrints DOI: 10.57711/4r10-q931

Library holdings: Search Newcastle University Library for this item

ISBN: 9781837532834