Case Summary

Case Summary















Case Summary

The main issue raised in the case concerning Alwyn Johnson and the banks involves the protection of whistleblowers. This particular issue provides an overview of the problems that whistleblowers experience in an attempt to guarantee fiduciary responsibility to stakeholders regardless of the company’s actions. In an attempt to ensure that an organization gains profitability via the exposure of unethical business practices, whistleblowers assume a significant responsibility in protecting the interests of the shareholders. Based on this, it is normal to guarantee that effective policies are implemented in order to safeguard the individuals from risks and uncertainties that may amount from their exposure. In this particular case, Alwyn Johnson, as a whistleblower, suffered considerable difficulties regardless of saving the company and its respective shareholders from irreconcilable financial deprivation. Due to his involvement, Johnson lost his career further asserting the dilemma that such people experience based on saving the company’s reputation and the fear of retribution.

In order to address the problem, the authors utilize Johnson’s case as a formidable illustration. In this respect, Grace and Cohen (2013) claim that there is significant difficulty in creating and establishing protective mechanisms for whistleblowers. As such, it may be impossible to facilitate the exposure of organizational failures that may prejudice the interests of the public. Hence, in using the respective case, the authors reveal the issues that whistleblowers face as they attempt to protect their organizations and stakeholders. Additionally, the lack of inclination towards whistleblower protection further enables an understanding of the issues addressed. Still on the case, Johnson manages to lose his career regardless of his ethical intentions. Adding on to this, his identity seems to be exposed regardless of him expressing the wish to be confidential when writing to the Premier-. Such examples of the problems that Johnson faces arguably represent the predicament commonly experienced by archetypical whistleblowers of their unbiased interests.

By covering the issue based on whistleblower protection, Grace and Cohen conclude that alterations in organizational policies are required in order to facilitate the security and safety of such persons. Nonetheless, it is impossible to negate the influence that a particular setting may impose on the implementation of such policies. In a country such as Australia, whistleblowers gain the reputation of troublemakers. This further correlates to the reasons provided by Trust Bank after approving the dismissal of Alwyn Johnson (Grace & Cohen, 2013). Because of this, policies bent on safeguarding whistleblowers are rather difficult to implement based on factors that range from organizational aspects to external business surroundings (Wicks, Freeman, Werhane, & Martin, 2010). Additionally, the text further concludes that whistleblowing is more of an aberrant behavior in Australia, than it is a beneficial process. As such, the engagement in financial malpractice and other forms of biased practices seem to be typical in the Australian setting. Hence, whistleblowing, as an ethical act, continues experiencing significant limitations that may be impossible to negate.

Nonetheless, it is impossible to avoid the impact exhibited by Grace and Cohen concerning this particular subject. Accordingly, the text asserts that establishing protections based on whistleblowing is difficult (Grace & Cohen, 2013). Foremost, the claim regarding the difficulty of devising whistleblower protections evokes a considerable ethical bearing especially for other organizations. Usually, malpractice and unethical acts within a firm result in heavy financial losses that can actually lead it to bankruptcy (Wicks et al., 2010). Hence, the argument is capable of influencing other firms to accept whistleblowing as a moral and beneficial tactic. However, the claim seems to overlook the prejudiced interests that whistleblowers tend to have. Indeed, certain persons may manage to exploit a company by resorting to publicity even when there is lack of evidence to suggest that the firm expressed involvement in unscrupulous business activities. In this respect, it actually seems understandable to exude a negative predisposition towards the protection of whistleblowers.

It is clear that business ethics assume an important role in the assertion of morality within a company. Due to this case, I have learnt that moral autonomy is actually innate to every person. The fact that Johnson exposed the management weaknesses that Trust Bank possessed further supports this notion. Even though the management was fully aware of the activities it was engaging in, Johnson seem to repel this pressure and proceeded towards exposing the company’s engagements irrespective of the outcomes he would experience. In addition to this, I also learnt that whistleblowing is more of an act of moral decency, rather than aberrant behavior as expressed. The acts that Johnson engaged in are a clear representation of his inclination towards saving other people from the possible harm that could arise from the firm’s unethical activities. Lastly, I also learnt that every individual is actually responsible for his or her actions. The consequences that Johnson faced correspond precisely to this tenet of moral agency.


















Grace, D., & Cohen, S. (2013). Business ethics (5th ed.). Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.

Wicks, A., Freeman, R. E., Werhane, P., & Martin, K. E. (2010). Business ethics: A managerial approach. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.

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