By Kristina Hinds Harrison
This article uses a social constructivist approach to evaluate the ways in which the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) has communicated the need to institutionalise civil society participation in the region’s decision-making processes. This article analyses the CARICOM’s construction of language pertaining to ‘civil society’, ‘consultation’ and other participation related terms. What emerges from this discourse analysis is the observation that for just over twenty years, the CARICOM as an institution has transmitted unclear and sometimes contradictory signals surrounding the identity of individuals and groups to be included in proposed consultative arrangements. CARICOM’s failure to imbue terms such as ‘civil society’ with meaning for this institution’s context is connected to the institution’s inability to create participatory mechanisms for CARICOM.
Key words: Caribbean Community (CARICOM), civil society, consultation, participation, regional integration, social partners, stakeholders.
By Philmore Alleyne, Diana Weekes-Marshall and Roger Arthur
This study sought to obtain perceptions of whistle-blowing, and to examine the relationship between organisational commitment, corporate ethical values and whistle-blowing among accountants in Barbados. Self-administered questionnaires were distributed to accountants working in organisations. As a result, 236 useable responses were obtained. Accountants did not perceive whistle-blowing to be wrong but were still unlikely to blow the whistle. This reluctance was cited as stemming from high personal costs in the form of retaliation and victimisation, a close relationship with the wrongdoer, and publicity that could negatively impact the organisation. Factors cited as encouraging whistle-blowing included job satisfaction, severity of the incident, anonymity, personal benefits and the need to correct wrongdoing that may harm the organisation. Accounting staff were aware of their organisation’s code of ethics and encouragement of whistle-blowing, but most seemed to be unaware of adequate mechanisms to protect potential whistle-blowers. Organisational commitment and corporate ethical values were significant predictors of internal and external whistle-blowing intentions. To encourage internal whistle-blowing, the organisation should provide training, education, improve the organisation’s code of conduct and ethical culture, create acceptance of internal reporting mechanisms, increase job satisfaction, and reward ethical behaviour.
Key words: Whistle-blowing, accountants, Barbados, organisational commitment, corporate ethical values.
By Paul Sutton
The lecture explores why there has been so much activity associated with constitution reform in the Commonwealth Caribbean but so little change. It begins with a brief consideration of the reform experience and the nature of the Westminster model in the region and then goes on to identify three aspects which collectively begin to explain the lack of change: the distinctive political culture, the fact of small size and the practice of constitutional reform. It ends by considering the future of reform concluding that the Westminster model will remain dominant in the region unless or until there is a move toward federation.
Key words: Commonwealth Caribbean, Westminster model, political culture, small size, constitutional reform
By Adrian Carter, Roland Craigwell and Winston Moore.
by Victor Mlambo and Godfrey St. Bernard
Identification of factors that are strongly associated with poverty is imperative if sound poverty reduction strategies are to be implemented. This study employs 2006 St Lucian household level data to examine relationships between household poverty status and selected household variables and household head characteristics. The proportion of non-poor households in rural districts was lower than the national average. Total household expenditure was higher in male-headed households than in female headed households in 8 of the 10 districts. Households headed by younger (< 25 years old) individuals tended to be poorer than those headed by older individuals. Regression analysis revealed that level of education of household heads was the strongest determinant of household welfare. Expansion of investment into secondary education may be a good initial strategy towards poverty reduction since 55.6 % of household heads in St Lucia had no more than a basic primary education. Key words: proximate determinants; place of residence; total expenditure; socioeconomic status; household heads; gender