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Voice behavior in organizations : scale development, psychological mechanisms, and cross-level modeling

Authors Liang, Jian
Issue Date 2007
Summary With rapid changes in technology and business environments, employees are becoming invaluable assets of organizations, not only for their physical labor, but also for their innovative ideas. In this dissertation, attention is focused on employee voice behavior, defined as expressing work-related ideas and opinions based on cooperative motive (Van Dyne, Ang, & Botero, 2003). The purposes are two-fold: (a) to examine the psychological mechanisms of voice behavior, and (b) to discuss how to create supportive contexts in which employees can freely express their suggestions/concerns. In this dissertation, the literature is first reviewed and a two-factor structure of voice behavior is proposed comprising promotive voice and prohibitive voice. A theoretical model is then developed to articulate the underlying processes of voice. Derived from the Theory of Planned Behavior (Ajzen, 1991), psychological safety, felt obligation, and organization-based self-esteem are proposed to be three mechanisms accounting for voice behavior. Finally, a cross-level model is proposed to predict voice behavior. In this model, voice is viewed as a joint product of individual attribute and contextual factors. Work contexts, mediated through people’s perceptions, create the conditions which people perceive to be favorable or unfavorable for expressing their ideas/opinions. Three studies were conducted to examine the hypotheses. In Study 1, a measure was developed for voice behavior and the psychometric properties of the instruments employed in this dissertation are examined. In Study 2, a time-lagged design was applied to examine the mechanisms of voice behavior. Two hundred and thirty-nine Chinese employees participated twice with a five-week lag. In Study 3, the joint effect of personality trait and contextual variables on voice is examined. Data were collected from 267 Chinese employees in 59 retailing stores. Finally, there is a summary of the findings, discussion of the implications, and the limitations and future directions are indicated. Keywords: Voice Behavior, Psychological Mechanisms, Work Contexts
Note Thesis (Ph.D.)--Hong Kong University of Science and Technology, 2007
Language English
Format Thesis
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