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Speaking up at work: personality’s influence on employee voice behavior

Archana Manapragada Tedone (Division of Applied Behavioral Sciences, University of Baltimore, Baltimore, Maryland, USA)
Valentina Bruk-Lee (Department of Psychology, Florida International University, Miami, Florida, USA)

International Journal of Organizational Analysis

ISSN: 1934-8835

Article publication date: 8 February 2021

Abstract

Purpose

To boost efficiency and productivity, organizations are increasingly depending upon employees to speak up about workplace concerns and disagreements. This change-oriented bottom-up communication, termed employee voice behavior, brings attention to workplace issues that could otherwise go undetected by management. This study examined the relationships between personality characteristics, job attitudes, and employee voice behavior, and investigated the moderating role of extraversion on the relationships between job attitudes (i.e., job satisfaction and turnover intentions) and voice.

Design/methodology/approach

A cross-sectional study design was used, with data collected through an online survey from a sample of 284 individuals working in the US. Hypotheses were tested using correlation, regression and moderation analyzes.

Findings

Job satisfaction and turnover intentions were found to be positively and negatively-related, respectively, to employee voice behavior. Extraversion was found to be predictive of employee voice behavior and moderate the relationships between job attitudes and voice behavior. Interestingly, results suggest that the job attitudes of individuals high in extraversion do not influence their likelihood of speaking up. Rather, voice behaviors of only those with low or moderate levels of extraversion are impacted by their job attitudes.

Originality/value

This study builds upon prior research identifying the importance of extraversion in predicting voice behavior by testing its incremental validity and relative weight, compared to the other Big Five personality characteristics. Furthermore, this research contributes to the theoretical understanding of instances in which employee voice behavior occurs by examining the moderating effect of extraversion on the relationship between job attitudes and employee voice behavior.

Keywords

Citation

Tedone, A.M. and Bruk-Lee, V. (2021), "Speaking up at work: personality’s influence on employee voice behavior", International Journal of Organizational Analysis, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJOA-09-2020-2417

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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