David Mayer and Scott DeRue in Harvard Business Review

September 2, 2016

Why are some whistleblowers vilified and others celebrated? An eponymous article in the Harvard Business Review by David Mayer, seeks to answer that question and draws on research by Mayer, Maddy Ong, Scott DeRue, and Ned Wellman. The researchers found that an individual’s place in an organization affects colleagues’ responses to their actions. Although lower-ranking individuals often draw their coworkers’ disapproval by speaking out, higher-ranking individuals are generally seen as leaders whose actions set the standard. Mayer explains that “leaders have a critical responsibility both to speak up and to create a culture where employees are accountable to one another and the organization to report wrongdoing.”

David Mayer is an associate professor of management and organizations and a faculty member at the Center for Positive Organizations. Scott DeRue is Edward J. Frey Dean of Business, Stephen M. Ross Professor of Business, and a faculty associate at the Center for Positive Organizations.