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MDX-backed international study investigating whistleblowing in the workplace

13/02/2024
The project will compare the experiences of workers in Denmark, Norway, Ireland and England

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Middlesex University has a leading role in a large international study investigating how free speech and whistleblowing is tackled in the workplace. The project, which has been financed for several years by the Research Council of Norway, will compare the experiences of workers in Denmark, Norway, England and Ireland. It is being led by the Fafo Institute for Labour and Social Research in Oslo, Norway and Professor David Lewis, head of the MDX Whistleblowing Research Unit, is the principal investigator for England. More than 9,000 workers have already been surveyed in total across various sectors and industries in the Scandinavian countries, England and Ireland.

In the project’s next stage, researchers will be interviewing senior managers from the health and financial services sectors to gain knowledge about the differences in how employers handle freedom of speech and whistleblowing cases in the countries. This will increase understanding about whether employers seek to encourage or prevent workers raising concerns, and how they balance the right for employees to raise their voice with the right to manage. Initial findings suggest greater workers’ union density in Denmark and Norway compared to England and Ireland could have a significant influence on how whistleblowing and freedom of speech cases have been dealt with.

The Whistleblowing Research Unit, led by Prof Lewis, has carried out vital research and held annual events celebrating whistleblowers' achievements. Since 2009, Prof Lewis has also been the organiser of the International Whistleblowing Research Network which boasts more than 240 members worldwide.

If you are a senior manager in financial services or the health sector and would be interested in taking part in this research project please contact Prof David Lewis via d.b.lewis@mdx.ac.uk

Photo by Benjamin Child on Unsplash

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