National and global surveys consistently have shown that the majority of employees, even those with sophisticated corporate resources at their disposal, often decide to do nothing when they become aware of misconduct. One of the toughest challenges that corporations face in encouraging employees to come forward with reports of wrongdoing is creating an open and non-retaliatory work environment. Yet little research or information has been available to corporations on how to create such environments.

The Institute took on this challenge a few years ago with a ground-breaking research project on how to create open and nonretaliatory workplace environments. The research examined such questions as:

  • What can organizations do to encourage employees to come forward with concerns of improper conduct within the organization?
  • Internationally, how can organizations overcome entrenched cultural biases against whistleblowing and should different approaches be used in different parts of the world?
  • What are the characteristics of effective helplines?
  • What type of training is most effective on this issue?
  • Are there cutting edge strategies that companies are employing to open up communications?


Based on our research, the Institute has worked with a number of leading multinational organizations to develop bespoke ‘Speak Up’ programs, including training and education, which have resulted in measurable impact.

For the general findings of our research project on creating speak up cultures, please see our publications section. For additional information, please contact the Institute.