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Dina El-Bassiouny, Amr Kotb, Hany Elbardan, Noha el-Bassiouny

Document Type

Research Article

Publication Title

Journal of Business Ethics

Publication Date





In this paper, we draw upon Islamic teachings to address two questions. How do Islamic ethics deepen and advance our understanding of the whistleblowing act? To what extent are Islamic ethics of whistleblowing promoted in practice? First, we have undertaken a thematic content analysis of the holy book of Qur’an, supported by the Sunnah (Prophetic Traditions). This has yielded a novel Islamic ethics-based framework of whistleblowing comprising the five aspects of the whistleblowing process: What should one blow the whistle about? Who should blow the whistle? Why should one blow the whistle? How should one blow the whistle? And to Whom should one blow the whistle? Second, using the developed framework, we have analyzed the whistleblowing policies of 20 Islamic banks and financial institutions across 11 countries. This analysis reveals that there exists a narrow view of what ought to be reported as wrongdoings, a confined scope of potential whistleblowers, a lack of connection with Islamic motivations, missing steps in the actual whistleblowing process, and a lack of gradation in relation to rectifying corrupt acts, thus highlighting a framework–policy gap. This is the first study to conceptualize the whistleblowing process from an Islamic perspective. The developed framework offers guiding procedures that individuals can consult to guide whistleblowing reasoning behavior and that organizations can use while developing whistleblowing policies. It also serves as a foundation for the development of organizational whistleblowing policies in different sectors.

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