Fraud Detection, Conservatism and Political Economy of Whistle Blowing
AbstractThis paper presents a discussion on whistle-blowing and take the view that whistle-blowing is an important fraud detection technique. A discussion of some factors that influence the whistle-blowers’ incentive to blow the whistle or to remain silent in the face of persuasive fraud red flags, is also presented. The paper suggests that the tradeoff between the cost and benefit of whistle-blowing may compel the whistle-blower to apply some degree of conservatism in their whistle-blowing activities. Also, some discussion on how whistle-blowing might be influenced by firm-level politics, country-level political economy, firm ownership and other institutional factors is presented. Finally, although the provision of incentives can increase the appeal to encourage whistle-blowing, the appeal to blow the whistle may be weakened when the whistle-blower takes into account the larger context that influence the decision to blow the whistle or to remain silent.
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