We’re just too scared to report wrongdoing

The number of us who’ve seen wrongdoing is rising, studies have found – but many of us are too scared to report it. In 2018 in South Africa, research by the GIBS Ethics Barometer with our company FeedbackRocket, revealed these scary stats: on average, 51% of employees (half) have seen unethical behaviour; but only 26% of these have reported it. That means 74% (3 out of every 4), turn a blind eye and don’t speak up about it.

A survey by The Ethics Institute had a similar finding: a third of employees in corporate South Africa have seen misconduct, yet only half of those report it.

Why is this happening? Over and over again, studies show that the two biggest reasons for not reporting are:

  1. Fear of being victimised and
  2. The belief that nothing will be done about it.

With FraudCracker‘s anonymous interactive chat software, we can solve the victimisation problem, we can prevent whistle-blowers being targeted. But only the organisation’s management can address the second problem: they need to punish wrongdoers, and they need to let people know that they’re doing this. People need to see that wrongdoing has negative consequences.

With these two fixes in place, hopefully we won’t be afraid to speak up about wrongdoing any more. And we can start rebuilding our incredible country in the post-Zuma era.


  1. 2018 GIBS Ethics Barometer and FeedbackRocket.com
  2. https://www.fin24.com/Economy/many-south-africans-afraid-to-blow-the-whistle-on-misconduct-survey-20190628

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