Whistleblowing and resilience: Analysis of an individual trajectory
Whistleblowing is the disclosure of illegal, immoral or illegitimate practices under the control of their employer by (past or present) members of an organisation, to people or bodies with power to remedy the situation (Near and Miceli, 1985). Generally speaking, the subsequent outlook for whistleblowers is pretty bleak as they are often the victims of reprisals shortly after making their allegations and subject to sidelining, downgrading, ostracism, termination of employment, etc. (Perry, 1998). However, to date, there has been little discussion in the literature on the trajectory of whistleblowers, especially over the long term, and little has been said about why and how whistleblowers manage to overcome -or not- the difficulties they subsequently face. Our qualitative exploratory study therefore sets out to examine the post-denunciation trajectory of one French whistleblower, Jacques Glassmann, the footballer at the origin of the famous VA-OM football club scandal in France, exploring the role of the social system in his resilience process. Long considered as an informer in the world of French football, he finally managed to make a come-back in his professional sphere. We follow his story over a relatively long period (from 1993 to 2011) and analyse the role played by the governing bodies of football and other stakeholders in his resilience process (Cyrulnik, 1999; Bonanno, 2012). In theoretical terms, the paper focuses on two areas that are usually studied separately, namely, whistleblowing and individual resilience. We propose a dynamic model of the resilience process as the outcome of interactions between whistleblowers and their social system. Our findings identify a specific stakeholder (the fans) as agents of reprisals, but also as agents of rehabilitation. Furthermore, our findings highlight the role and conditions of mediation by tutors in the resilience process.
Copyright (c) 2013 Sandra Charreire Petit, Julien Cusin
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