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To blow the whistle in Brazil: The impact of gender and public service motivation
Regulation & Governance  (IF5.4),  Pub Date : 2021-06-15, DOI: 10.1111/rego.12418
Gustavo M. Tavares, Fabiana V. Lima, Gregory Michener

Given weak protections for whistleblowers in Brazil – a country with over one million federal civil servants and a well-known history of corruption scandals – how common is whistleblowing? This study presents results from a survey completed by 652 federal civil servants in Brazil. Examining the incidence of wrongdoing, whistleblowing, and retaliation, as well as the role of gender and public service motivation (PSM), we find that women tend to report wrongdoing less often than men, are less willing to engage in subsequent acts of whistleblowing, and experience more retaliation. Similar to previous studies, PSM is positively related to whistleblowing and retaliation diminishes intentions to engage in subsequent whistleblowing. Unlike previous studies, we find that PSM is more predictive of whistleblowing for women than for men. In contributing new findings to research on whistleblowing in lower to middle-income democracies, this paper contains important policy implications, particularly on the critical question of gender.