CHAPTER 4Challenges and Obstacles to Effective Speak‐up Arrangements

In the previous chapter, we used empirical research to highlight some of the best practices that organizations use to implement speak‐up arrangements. The organizations were from various sectors, and had some similarities and some differences in how they approached this. It emerged from these findings that effective speak‐up processes are a collective endeavor, requiring support for employees that want to speak up and an organizational culture that is conducive to such reports. In this chapter, we discuss how people speak up, and what some of the barriers to speak‐up arrangements are.

In the previous chapter we showed how the organizations we studied used combinations of speak‐up channels with different interfaces. In this chapter we discuss the challenges and obstacles faced by those who operated these speak‐up arrangements. We first present research findings on how people speak‐up and how many times they do so. Next, we discuss what people who speak up expect from those they address their concern to. We then switch perspectives to those who must meet the expectations of whistleblowers—who receive their concerns and operate speak‐up arrangements—and delve into the challenges of obtaining and maintaining trust throughout the process. Toward the end of the chapter we introduce our model for developing sustainable speak up systems, which draws on these empirical insights along with best practice from existing ...

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