Whistleblowing in Government Recruitment Document

1. Purpose of this study

This study involves government employees, or former government employees, who have blown the whistle on their government employers, and reporters who have used whistleblowers as sources. The focus of the study is on the ways in which employees’ relationships with their government employers may have changed after the employees blew the whistle and on the roles of public relations and journalism in government whistleblowing.


2. Approximate duration of this study

Taking part in this study involves one in-depth interview of approximately one to four hours. The interview will be digitally recorded for transcription purposes, and all records will be de-identified and password-protected.

3. Anticipated benefit

There will be no direct benefits to you, but the findings will be useful to the public relations profession and educators for understanding the role of whistleblowing in government.

4. Potential risk

Risk is minimal for participants who have been identified as whistleblowers. You may get emotional when sharing your experiences. You may pause to rest at any time during the interview or stop if you choose to do so. You may skip any questions you do not want to answer. YOUR PARTICIPATION IS COMPLETELY VOLUNTARY. You are free not to participate or stop participating any time during the interview. Subjects whose identities have not been revealed could be subject to economic harm from retaliation, loss of employability, and damage to reputation if their identities were known. Precautions to protect identities are described below.

5. Contact information

This study is being conducted by Dr. Cary A. Greenwood, APR, Fellow PRSA, at Middle Tennessee State University. If you have any questions about the study, feel free to contact her at 615-494-7748 (cary.greenwood@mtsu.edu). If you have any questions regarding your rights as a research subject, please contact Emily Born, Compliance Officer, Office of Research Compliance, 615-494-8918, at Middle Tennessee State University. This office oversees the review of the research to protect your rights and is not involved with this study.

6. Confidentiality

All efforts, within reason, will be made to keep your personal information in research records private, including de-identifying and password-protecting responses and maintaining them in a secure location under lock and key. In addition, the researcher has requested waiver of documentation of informed consent. You will be asked to provide verbal informed consent, notified of measures to protect confidentiality and supported verbally during the interview process.

7. Informed consent

If you understand the statements above, are at least 18 years old, and freely consent to be in this study, please contact Dr. Greenwood.

Middle Tennessee State University, a Tennessee Board of Regents institution
1301 East Main Street, Murfreesboro, TN 37132-0001 USA +1.615.898.2300

Middle Tennessee State University, in its educational programs and activities involving students and employees, does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, religion, or age. Furthermore, the university does not discriminate against veterans or individuals with disabilities.

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