The Means-End Chains of Whistleblowers: An Application of the Laddering Technique

[Speaker] Park, Heungsik:1
[Co-author] Lee, Jaeil:1, Jeong, Joowon:2
1:Chang-Ang University (Korea(Republic of Korea)), 2:Georgia State University (United States of America)

Means-End Chain (MEC) theory and the in-depth laddering technique are an effective tool for identifying the cognitive structure underlies the reasons and values that whistleblowers attach to their decisions since informants expose wrongdoing in different ways and for different reasons. Applying them, we explored the attribute- consequence-value structure of whistleblowers to understand the processes behind their choices. We conducted preliminary laddering interview to develop a questionnaire and implemented a content analysis of the interview data. The interview enabled the identification of 9 attributes, 11 expected consequences, and 9 desired values.
From March to November 2013, data were collected by administering the questionnaire to 37 Korean whistleblowers. Using the results of the hard laddering and in-depth interviews, we constructed implication matrix and graphical map of means-end chains.
The results show that whistleblowers make decisions with fulfilling their values, then help to develop the new application to illuminate their motivation and goals.
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