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Article
Publication date: 10 August 2012

Francine Schlosser and Roxanne Zolin

It is ironic that in stressful economic times, when new ideas and positive behaviors could be most valuable, employees may not speak up, leading to reduced employee…

Abstract

Purpose

It is ironic that in stressful economic times, when new ideas and positive behaviors could be most valuable, employees may not speak up, leading to reduced employee participation, less organizational learning, less innovation and less receptiveness to change. The supervisor is the organization's first line of defense against a culture of silence and towards a culture of openness. The purpose of this paper is to ask what helps supervisors to hear prosocial voice and notice defensive silence.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors conducted a cross‐sectional field study of 142 supervisors.

Findings

The results indicate that prosocial voice is increased by supervisor tension and trust in employees, while defensive silence is increased by supervisor tension but reduced by unionization of employees and trust in employees. This indicates that, as hypothesized by others, voice and silence are orthogonal and not opposites of the same construct.

Research limitations/implications

The data are measured at one point in time, and further longitudinal study would be helpful to further understand the phenomena.

Practical implications

This research highlights the potential for supervisors in stressful situations to selectively hear voice and silence from employees.

Social implications

This research also has implications for supervisors who work in a unionized environment. Although seemingly counter‐intuitive, there is a value to employee unionization in terms of either reducing the level of actual defensive silence, or at least reducing supervisors’ perceptions of defensive silence.

Originality/value

The paper adds to our knowledge of prosocial voice and defensive silence by testing supervisors’ perceptions of these constructs during difficult times. It provides valuable empirical insights to a literature dominated by conceptual non‐empirical papers. Limited research on silence might reflect how difficult it is to study such an ambiguous and passive construct as silence (often simply viewed as a lack of speech). The paper contributes also to trust literature by identifying its role in increasing supervisor's perceptions of prosocial voice and reducing perceptions of defensive silence.

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Article
Publication date: 21 September 2015

Alisher Tohirovich Dedahanov and Jaehoon Rhee

Previous studies examined the relationships between trust, organizational commitment and the unitary construct of silence. The authors believe that previous studies…

Abstract

Purpose

Previous studies examined the relationships between trust, organizational commitment and the unitary construct of silence. The authors believe that previous studies’ primary shortcoming is the lack of an understanding of the motives of employees in withholding work related issues when they have a lack of trust in their organization and supervisor and a lack of knowledge regarding the form of silence that impacts more organizational commitment. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to investigate the impacts of trust in organization and trust in supervisor on acquiescent and defensive silence and examines the effects of acquiescent and defensive silence on organizational commitment.

Design/methodology/approach

The study utilized structured equation modeling to analyze data from 753 highly skilled employees in South Korea.

Findings

The findings revealed that trust in organization is associated with acquiescent silence; trust in supervisor is related with defensive silence and acquiescent silence demonstrated strong relationship with organizational commitment.

Originality/value

This study is the first to explore the associations between trust in organization and acquiescent silence and the relationships between trust in supervisor and defensive silence. Moreover, our study reports the strong link between acquiescent silence and organizational commitment.

Details

Management Decision, vol. 53 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0025-1747

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Article
Publication date: 11 August 2020

Ki Ho Kim, Eugene Y. Roh, Young Joong Kim and Samuel A. Spralls

The primary purpose of this article is to develop and test a model of the antecedents and consequences (Cho et al., 2016) of bullying in Korean hotel kitchens.

Abstract

Purpose

The primary purpose of this article is to develop and test a model of the antecedents and consequences (Cho et al., 2016) of bullying in Korean hotel kitchens.

Design/methodology/approach

Cross-sectional survey data were collected from 288 kitchen workers at 12 upscale Korean hotels. Proposed path models were tested using Hayes' (2013) PROCESS syntax in SPSS for mediation and moderated mediation analyses.

Findings

The empirical results indicated that an employee's acquiescent silence behavior increases the likelihood of being bullied. As a result, bullied employees are more likely to respond by engaging in a person-related counterproductive work behavior (CWB-P) or in defensive silence out of fear with temporary employees reacting less aggressively compared to regular employees.

Research limitations/implications

Cross-sectional design and self-report data risk common method variance and attributions of causality. Future research should use longitudinal designs to avoid common method bias and make causal inferences. Theoretical and practical implications for kitchen productivity are presented. The study should offer valuable insights for prospective employers to develop on-going training and create a positive working environment within the organization.

Originality/value

While bullying is a widespread and even an epidemic problem for the commercial kitchen environment, research into abusive behavior among chefs has been limited. By utilizing a specific segment of the hospitality industry, this research identified different behavioral aspects of bulling between temporary and regular employees in the commercial kitchen environment.

Details

Employee Relations: The International Journal, vol. 43 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0142-5455

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Article
Publication date: 18 May 2021

Arslan Ayub, Fatima Sultana, Shahid Iqbal, Muhammad Abdullah and Nishwa Khan

With a basis in the conservation of resource (COR) theory, this study examines the relationship between workplace ostracism and job performance while also investigating…

Abstract

Purpose

With a basis in the conservation of resource (COR) theory, this study examines the relationship between workplace ostracism and job performance while also investigating the mediating role of defensive silence and the moderating role of emotional intelligence.

Design/methodology/approach

The study uses a multisource, three-wave data collection technique to gather data from employees and their peers working in Pakistan's service sector organizations. Data are analyzed using partial least squares structural equation modeling (PLS-SEM) (v 3.2.7) to assess the measurement model and the structural model.

Findings

The findings reveal that the perception of workplace ostracism provokes self-avoidance strategy, defensive silence, which attenuates job performance. However, defensive silence's mediating role is mitigated if employees can draw from their emotional intelligence ability, which induces a self-regulation mechanism that curbs workplace ostracism's negative consequences.

Practical implications

The study demonstrates how employees in collectivist, high-power distance cultural settings may strategically choose silence by exercising emotional intelligence to enhance job performance.

Originality/value

This study is one of the few efforts that examined defensive silence in non-Western cultural settings. This is also the first study that examined emotional intelligence's role in the proposed moderated mediation framework.

Details

Journal of Organizational Change Management, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0953-4814

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 5 February 2018

Arpana Rai and Upasna A. Agarwal

The purpose of this paper is to examine the effects of workplace bullying on employee silence (defensive, relational, and ineffectual silence), and to test the mediating…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the effects of workplace bullying on employee silence (defensive, relational, and ineffectual silence), and to test the mediating role of psychological contract violation (PCV) in this relationship and the extent to which the mediation is moderated by workplace friendship.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were collected from 835 full-time Indian managerial employees working in different Indian organizations.

Findings

Results revealed that workplace bullying positively correlated with silence (defensive, relational, and ineffectual silence). The hypothesized moderated mediation condition was supported as results suggest that PCV mediated the bullying-silence relationship and workplace friendship moderated this mediating pathway, i.e. indirect effects of workplace bullying on employee silence via PCV were weaker for employees with high workplace friendship.

Research limitations/implications

A cross-sectional design, use of self-reported questionnaires, and gender-blind perspective to examine bullying are few limitations of this study.

Practical implications

This is the first study examining employee silence in response to workplace bullying and one of the few attempts to examine employees’ passive coping strategies in response to workplace mistreatment. This study is also one of the rare attempts to examine bullying-outcomes relationship in the Indian context.

Social implications

A well-formulated and effectively implemented anti-bullying policy and management support may encourage employees to combat bullying by raising their voices against it.

Originality/value

This is the first study examining employee silence in response to workplace bullying. This study is also one of the rare attempts to examine bullying-outcomes relationship in the Indian context.

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Article
Publication date: 25 February 2014

David Perkins

The purpose of this paper is to gain a greater understanding of fear-based information withholding in project-manager-to-project-sponsor (PM2PS) communication and to…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to gain a greater understanding of fear-based information withholding in project-manager-to-project-sponsor (PM2PS) communication and to propose future research directions.

Design/methodology/approach

The research consisted of a review of the literature related to the withholding of information in subordinate-to-superior communication and in PM2PS communication. Literature from project communication studies and literature from general communication theory was consulted.

Findings

Using defensive silence theory as a conceptual framework, five research propositions specific to fear-based information withholding in PM2PS communication are offered.

Research limitations/implications

The study findings are limited to PM2PS communication based upon fear. The study provides a foundation for further research in this area within the conceptual framework of defensive silence theory.

Practical implications

The practical implication of this paper is that certain perceptions and behaviors of a project sponsor can be related to fear-based information withholding in PM2PS communication.

Originality/value

The originality of this paper is that it extends defensive silence theory into the realm of PM2PS communication. The value of this paper is to provide a catalyst for subsequent empirical-based research in order gain greater insight into fear-based information withholding in PM2PS communication.

Details

Leadership & Organization Development Journal, vol. 35 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-7739

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Article
Publication date: 20 August 2020

Muhammad Waseem Bari, Misbah Ghaffar and Bashir Ahmad

The purpose of this study is to examine the relationship between knowledge-hiding behaviors (evasive hiding, playing dumb and rationalized hiding) and employees’ silence

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to examine the relationship between knowledge-hiding behaviors (evasive hiding, playing dumb and rationalized hiding) and employees’ silence (defensive silence, relational silence and ineffectual silence). Besides, this paper investigates the relation mediated by psychological contract breach.

Design/methodology/approach

The data were collected with three-time lags (40 days each) through a structured questionnaire from 389 employees of registered software houses in Pakistan. The structural equation modeling (partial least squares) approach is used for data analysis.

Findings

The findings of this study confirm that knowledge-hiding behaviors have a significant and positive relationship with employees’ silence, and psychological contract breach significantly mediates the relationship between knowledge-hiding behaviors and employees’ silence.

Practical implications

The implications of this study are very supportive to the knowledge-intensive organizations, i.e. software houses. The management should increase the knowledge sharing and trust culture among employees to discourage the knowledge-hiding behaviors among employees. Moreover, supervisors should develop trust among employees, motivate them to avoid knowledge hiding and encourage the employees to raise their voices against their problems in a formal way.

Originality/value

The present study highlights the impact of different dimensions of knowledge hiding on employees’ silence and the role of psychological contract breach as a mediator in this scenario.

Details

Journal of Knowledge Management, vol. 24 no. 9
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1367-3270

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 16 August 2019

Kalaa Chenji and Raghavendra Sode

The purpose of this paper is to study the impact of workplace ostracism and defensive silence on employee behavior within an organization. The paper attempts to study the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to study the impact of workplace ostracism and defensive silence on employee behavior within an organization. The paper attempts to study the impact of workplace ostracism on employee creativity. The paper also aims to train the employees to withstand the negative effects of workplace ostracism.

Design/methodology/approach

This is an empirical study. Primary data were collected from 454 employees working in the service sector in India. The data were collected from an IT sector unit, an insurance company and a bank. Utmost care was taken in order to select organizations where there was frequent interaction between the supervisors and co-workers in order to measure the relevant variables. Mean, standard deviation and correlation were used for descriptive studies, and structural equation modeling was used to measure several dimensions of the hypothesized model. A bootstrap method is used to measure the impact of workplace ostracism on employee creativity.

Findings

The study found that defensive silence mediates between workplace ostracism and employee creativity and psychological empowerment moderates between workplace ostracism and employee creativity. Workplace ostracism negatively effects employee creativity and positively influences defensive silence. The study reveals the moderating effect of psychological empowerment on workplace ostracism and employee creativity such that low levels of psychological empowerment negatively influences employee creativity and high level of psychological empowerment has a positive effect on employee creativity.

Practical implications

Workplace ostracism is proved to be a stressor. The study contributes to the literature on stressor–strain relationship workplace ostracism and employee creativity. Psychological empowerment has indirect influence on workplace ostracism and employee creativity. Organizations may train employees to combat the negative effects of workplace ostracism through concepts like psychological empowerment.

Originality/value

The study is one of its kind as it aimed to measure the impact of workplace ostracism on employee creativity. Though there are several studies on workplace ostracism, its influence on employee creativity perhaps is covered by the present study.

Details

Industrial and Commercial Training, vol. 51 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0019-7858

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 10 August 2020

This paper aims to review the latest management developments across the globe and pinpoint practical implications from cutting-edge research and case studies.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to review the latest management developments across the globe and pinpoint practical implications from cutting-edge research and case studies.

Design/methodology/approach

This briefing is prepared by an independent writer who adds their own impartial comments and places the articles in context.

Findings

This research paper focuses on the creativity and empowerment impacts caused by workplace ostracism, as well as the practice of defensive silence by those on the receiving end of it. The results revealed that exposing employees to workplace ostracism causes their creativity to decline, and causes them to adopt defensive silence as self-protection. In turn, defensive silence impacts the relationship between workplace ostracism and employee creativity when employee empowerment levels are low. Organizational leaders are therefore advised to lead by example, to ensure that employee empowerment training is provided, and to embed clear positive behavior messaging throughout their onboarding process.

Originality/value

The briefing saves busy executives and researchers hours of reading time by selecting only the very best, most pertinent information and presenting it in a condensed and easy-to-digest format.

Details

Human Resource Management International Digest , vol. 28 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0967-0734

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 10 September 2018

Arpana Rai and Upasna Agarwal

The purpose of this paper is to examine the impact of workplace bullying on innovative work behavior and neglect with defensive silence as a mediator. The study further…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the impact of workplace bullying on innovative work behavior and neglect with defensive silence as a mediator. The study further examines if the presence of friendship networks in the workplace can weaken the negative impact of workplace bullying.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were collected through self-report questionnaires from 835 full-time Indian managerial employees working in different Indian organizations.

Findings

Results revealed that workplace bullying negatively related to innovative work behavior and positively related to neglect. Defensive silence mediated bullying–outcomes relationships and effects of workplace bullying on proposed outcomes were weaker in the presence of high workplace friendship.

Research limitations/implications

A cross-sectional design and use of self-reported questionnaire data are few limitations of this study.

Originality/value

The study extended the current research stream of workplace bullying to one of the underrepresented developing Asian countries, India. The study also contributes in terms of its sample characteristics as it covers managerial employees working across different organizations.

Details

International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, vol. 67 no. 7
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-0401

Keywords

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