Whistleblowing | Computer Science homework help

Use the Internet to research instances of whistleblowing in publicly traded companies within the last 12 months.

Write a two to three (2-3) page paper in which you:

1. Describe the key characteristics of a whistleblower, and briefly summarize one (1) researched instance of whistleblowing in one (1) publicly traded company within the last 12 months. Include the details of the issue that the whistleblower reported and the effect of the whistleblower’s actions on both the whistleblower himself and the company.

2. Decide whether or not the whistleblower was justified in reporting the company’s actions. Provide a rationale for your response.

3. Examine the extent to which the whistleblower would be protected under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act. Justify your response.

4. Use at least two (2) quality resources in this assignment. Note: Wikipedia is not an acceptable reference and proprietary Websites do not qualify as academic resources.



 Varying Definitions of Online Communication and  

Their Effects on Relationship Research 

Elizabeth L. Angeli 

Purdue University 

The running head cannot exceed 50 characters, including spaces and punctuation. The running head’s title should be in capital letters. The running head should be flush left, and page numbers should be flush right. On the title page, the running head should include the words “Running head.” For pages following the title page, repeat the running head in all caps without “Running head.” 

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The running head is a shortened version of the paper’s full title, and it is used to help readers identify the titles for published articles (even if your paper is not intended for publication, your paper should still have a running head).  

The title should summarize the paper’s main idea and identify the variables under discussion and the relationship between them. 

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This paper explores four published articles that report on results from research conducted 

on online (Internet) and offline (non-Internet) relationships and their relationship to 

computer-mediated communication (CMC).  The articles, however, vary in their 

definitions and uses of CMC.  Butler, and Kraut (2002) suggest that face-to-face (FtF) 

interactions are more effective than CMC, defined and used as “email,” in creating 

feelings of closeness or intimacy.  Other articles define CMC differently and, therefore, 

offer different results.  This paper examines Cummings et al.’s research in relation to 

three other research articles to suggest that all forms of CMC should be studied in order 

to fully understand how CMC influences online and offline relationships.   

The abstract should be between 150-250 words.  Abbreviations and acronyms used in the paper should be defined in the abstract.  

The abstract is a brief summary of the paper, allowing readers to quickly review the main points and purpose of the paper.   

The word “Abstract” should be centered and typed in 12 point Times New Roman. Do not indent the first line of the abstract paragraph.  All other paragraphs in the paper should be indented. 


Online Communication Definitions Effect on Relationship Research 

 Numerous studies have been conducted on various facets of Internet relationships, 

focusing on the levels of intimacy, closeness, different communication modalities, and 

the frequency of use of CMC.  However, contradictory results are suggested within this 

research mostly because only certain aspects of CMC are investigated, for example, email 

only. Cummings, Butler, and Kraut (2002) suggest that FtF interactions are more 

effective than CMC (read: email) in creating feelings of closeness or intimacy, while 

other studies suggest the opposite.  In order to understand how both online (Internet) and 

offline (non-Internet) relationships are affected by CMC, all forms of CMC should be 

studied.  This paper examines Cummings et al.’s research against other CMC research to 

propose that additional research be conducted to better understand how online 

communication effects relationships. 

 In Cummings et al.’s (2002) summary article reviewing three empirical studies on 

online social relationships, it was found that CMC, especially email, was less effective 

than FtF contact in creating and maintaining close social relationships.  Two of the three 

reviewed studies focusing on communication in non-Internet and Internet relationships 

mediated by FtF, phone, or email modalities found that the frequency of each modality’s 

use was significantly linked to the strength of the particular relationship (Cummings et 

al., 2002).  The strength of the relationship was predicted best by FtF and phone 

communication, as participants rated email as an inferior means of maintaining personal 

relationships as compared to FtF and phone contacts (Cummings et al., 2002).  

In-text citations include the author’s/ authors’ name/s and the publication year.   

If an article has three to five authors, write out all of the authors’ names the first time they appear. Then use the first author’s last name followed by  “et al.”  

The publication year and the not page number is used, because APA users are concerned with the date of the article (the more current the better). 

The title of the paper is centered and not bolded.  The introduc tion presents the problem that the paper  addresses. See the OWL resources on introductions: http://owl.en glish.purdue.e du/owl/resou rce/724/01/ 


Use two spaces after a period throughout your paper.  

 Cummings et al. (2002) reviewed an additional study conducted in 1999 by the 

HomeNet project. In this project, Kraut, Mukhopadhyay, Szczypula, Kiesler, and Scherlis 

(1999) compared the value of using CMC and non-CMC to maintain relationships with 

partners.  They found that participants corresponded less frequently with their Internet 

partner (5.2 times per month) than with their non-Internet partner (7.2 times per month) 

(as cited in Cummings et al., 2002).  This difference does not seem significant, as it is 

only two times less per month.  However, in additional self-report surveys, participants 

responded feeling more distant, or less intimate, towards their Internet partner than their 

non-Internet partner.  This finding may be attributed to participants’ beliefs that email is 

an inferior mode of personal relationship communication. 

 Intimacy is necessary in the creation and maintenance of relationships, as it is 

defined as the sharing of a person’s innermost being with another person, i.e., self

disclosure (Hu, Wood, Smith, & Westbrook, 2004).  Relationships are facilitated by the 

reciprocal self-disclosing between partners, regardless of non-CMC or CMC.  Cummings 

et al.’s (2002) reviewed results contradict other studies that research the connection 

between intimacy and relationships through CMC.  

 Hu et al. (2004) studied the relationship between the frequency of Instant 

Messenger (IM) use and the degree of perceived intimacy among friends.  The use of IM 

instead of email as a CMC modality was studied because IM supports a non-professional 

environment favoring intimate exchanges (Hu et al., 2004).  Their results suggest that a 

positive relationship exists between the frequency of IM use and intimacy, demonstrating 


that participants feel closer to their Internet partner as time progresses through this CMC 


 Similarly, Underwood and Findlay (2004) studied the effect of Internet 

relationships on primary, specifically non-Internet relationships and the perceived 

intimacy of both. In this study, self-disclosure, or intimacy, was measured in terms of 

shared secrets through the discussion of personal problems.  Participants reported a 

significantly higher level of self-disclosure in their Internet relationship as compared to 

their primary relationship.  In contrast, the participants’ primary relationships were 

reported as highly self-disclosed in the past, but the current level of disclosure was 

perceived to be lower (Underwood & Findlay, 2004).  This result suggests participants 

turned to the Internet in order to fulfill the need for intimacy in their lives. 

 In further support of this finding, Tidwell and Walther (2002) hypothesized CMC 

participants employ deeper self-disclosures than FtF participants in order to overcome the 

limitations of CMC, e.g., the reliance on nonverbal cues.  It was found that CMC partners 

engaged in more frequent intimate questions and disclosures than FtF partners in order to 

overcome the barriers of CMC.  In their study, Tidwell and Walther (2002) measured the 

perception of a relationship’s intimacy by the partner of each participant in both the CMC 

and FtF conditions.  The researchers found that the participants’ partners stated their 

CMC partner was more effective in employing more intimate exchanges than their FtF 

partner, and both participants and their partners rated their CMC relationship as more 

intimate than their FtF relationship.   



 In 2002, Cummings et al. stated that the evidence from their research conflicted 

with other data examining the effectiveness of online social relationships.  This statement 

is supported by the aforementioned discussion of other research.  There may be a few 

possible theoretical explanations for these discrepancies.  First, one reviewed study by 

Cummings et al. (2002) examined only email correspondence for their CMC modality. 

Therefore, the study is limited to only one mode of communication among other 

alternatives, e.g., IM as studied by Hu et al. (2004).  Because of its many personalized 

features, IM provides more personal CMC.  For example, it is in real time without delay, 

voice-chat and video features are available for many IM programs, and text boxes can be 

personalized with the user’s picture, favorite colors and text, and a wide variety of 

emoticons, e.g., :).  These options allow for both an increase in self-expression and the 

ability to overcompensate for the barriers of CMC through customizable features, as 

stated in Tidwell and Walther (2002).  Self-disclosure and intimacy may result from IM’s 

individualized features, which are not as personalized in email correspondence.  

 In addition to the limitations of email, Cummings et al. (2002) reviewed studies 

that focused on international bank employees and college students.  It is possible the 

participants’ CMC through email was used primarily for business, professional, and 

school matters and not for relationship creation or maintenance.  In this case, personal 

self-disclosure and intimacy levels are expected to be lower for non-relationship 

interactions, as this communication is primarily between boss and employee or student 

Because all research has its limitations, it is important to discuss the limitations of articles under examination.   

A Level 2 heading should be flush left and bolded. If you use more than two levels of headings, consult section 3.02 of the APA manual (6th ed.) or the OWL resource on APA headings: http://owl. english.pur due.edu/ow l/resource/ 560/16/ 


and professor.  Intimacy is not required, or even desired, for these professional 


 Instead of professional correspondence, however, Cummings et al.’s (2002) 

review of the HomeNet project focused on already established relationships and CMC’s 

effect on relationship maintenance.  The HomeNet researchers’ sole dependence on email 

communication as CMC may have contributed to the lower levels of intimacy and 

closeness among Internet relationships as compared to non-Internet relationships (as cited 

in Cummings et al., 2002).  The barriers of non-personal communication in email could 

be a factor in this project, and this could lead to less intimacy among these Internet 

partners. If alternate modalities of CMC were studied in both already established and 

professional relationships, perhaps these results would have resembled those of the 

previously mentioned research. 

 In order to gain a complete understanding of CMC’s true effect on both online 

and offline relationships, it is necessary to conduct a study that examines all aspects of 

CMC.  This includes, but is not limited to, email, IM, voice-chat, video-chat, online 

journals and diaries, online social groups with message boards, and chat rooms.  The 

effects on relationships of each modality may be different, and this is demonstrated by 

the discrepancies in intimacy between email and IM correspondence.  As each mode of 

communication becomes more prevalent in individual’s lives, it is important to examine 

the impact of all modes of CMC on online and offline relationship formation, 

maintenance, and even termination.  

The conclusion restates the problem the paper addresses and can offer areas for further research. See the OWL resource on conclusions: http://owl. english.pur due.edu/ow l/resource/ 724/04/  



Cummings, J. N., Butler, B., & Kraut, R.  (2002).  The quality of online social 

 relationships.  Communications of the ACM, 45(7), 103-108. 

Hu, Y., Wood, J. F., Smith, V., & Westbrook, N.  (2004).  Friendships through IM: 

 Examining the relationship between instant messaging and intimacy.  Journal of  

 Computer-Mediated Communication, 10(1), 38-48. 

Tidwell, L. C., & Walther, J. B.  (2002).  Computer-mediated communication effects on 

 disclosure, impressions, and interpersonal evaluations: Getting to know one  

 another a bit at a time.  Human Communication Research, 28(3), 317-348. 

Underwood, H., & Findlay, B.  (2004).  Internet relationships and their impact on primary  

 relationships.  Behaviour Change, 21(2), 127-140. 




Start the reference list on a new page, center the title  “References,” and alphabetize the entries. Do not underline or italicize the title. Doublespace all entries.  Every article mentioned in the paper should have an entry. 


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