Tactics of speaking up: The roles of issue importance, perceived managerial openness, and managers' positive mood

Erica XU, Xu HUANG, Kan Ouyang*, Wu Liu, Saiquan Hu

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    12 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Extant voice research has focused mainly on the conditions under which employees speak up, but we have limited knowledge about how employees speak up. This study examines voice tactics or the various ways in which employees express concerns to or share suggestions with their managers. Based on the notion that voice is a deliberative behavior, we draw upon a cost–benefit framework and propose that voice tactics are influenced by messages' characteristics and managers' stable and temporal characteristics. Specifically, we examine the joint effects of issue importance, perceived managerial openness, and managers' positive mood on employees' public (vs. private) and formal (vs. informal) voice tactics. Across two independent studies, our findings demonstrate that employees tend to use public channels and formal procedures only when three conditions are met simultaneously: (a) the issue is important, (b) managers are perceived as being open to employees' voice, and (c) managers are in a positive mood at the time of voicing. In addition, we found that speaking up via public channels or formal procedures is positively related to the success of voice.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)255-269
    Number of pages15
    JournalHuman Resource Management
    Volume59
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2020

    Scopus Subject Areas

    • Applied Psychology
    • Strategy and Management
    • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
    • Management of Technology and Innovation

    User-Defined Keywords

    • issue importance
    • managers' positive mood
    • perceived managerial openness
    • voice tactics

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