June 19, 2012

Antigone, the Whistle-Blower

Alessia Contu, University of Warwick, Warwick Business School, has published Whistle-Blowers’ Acts: Recasting Whistle-Blowing Through Readings of Antigone. Here is the abstract.

"Blowing the whistle" in organizational and public life is akin to speaking out and denouncing wrongdoings. Parrhesia, free speech, is a strongly-held value in western societies, but when manifested in organizations as whistle-blowing it is often seen as troublemaking. Most research on whistle-blowers is based on instrumental knowledge. But time has come to develop new perspectives on whistle-blowing (Wolfe Morrison, 2009). We answer the call to re-energize this research arena by developing a critical knowledge, which fosters reflection (Habermas, 2005: 316). Our discussion is based on exploring the analogy between Antigone, the Sophoclean heroine and whistle-blowers. Specifically, we address the readings of the tragedy by authors such as Hegel, Lacan and Heidegger considering what these offer to our understanding of whistle-blowing. These help us explain why whistle-blowers are often seen as ambiguous figures with ambivalent motives. And why whistle-blowing can be recast as an ethico-political act.
Download the paper from SSRN at the link. 

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