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Spirals of Silence: The Dynamic Effects of Diversity on Organizational Voice

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  • Frances Bowen
  • Kate Blackmon

Abstract

When will individuals speak up about organizational issues, and when will they remain silent? We suggest that organizational voice will be significantly influenced by individuals' perceptions of the attitudes towards an issue within their workgroup. In particular, individuals will be more likely to speak up when they believe that their position is supported by others, and remain silent when they believe that it is not. We explain this using the 'spiral of silence' proposed by Noelle-Neumann (1974, 1985, 1991) and widely used in public opinion research, which explains how majority opinions become dominant over time and minority opinions weakened. Copyright Blackwell Publishing Ltd 2003.

Suggested Citation

  • Frances Bowen & Kate Blackmon, 2003. "Spirals of Silence: The Dynamic Effects of Diversity on Organizational Voice," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(6), pages 1393-1417, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jomstd:v:40:y:2003:i:6:p:1393-1417
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Lisa Hope Pelled, 1999. "Demographic Dissimilarity and Workplace Inclusion," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 36(7), pages 1013-1031, December.
    2. Deborah Gladstein Ancona & David F. Caldwell, 1992. "Demography and Design: Predictors of New Product Team Performance," Organization Science, INFORMS, vol. 3(3), pages 321-341, August.
    3. Lisa Hope Pelled, 1996. "Demographic Diversity, Conflict, and Work Group Outcomes: An Intervening Process Theory," Organization Science, INFORMS, vol. 7(6), pages 615-631, December.
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    Cited by:

    1. Wageeh A. Nafei, 2016. "Organizational Silence, A Barrier to Job Engagement in Successful Organizations," International Business Research, Canadian Center of Science and Education, vol. 9(4), pages 100-117, April.
    2. van Riel, C.B.M. & Berens, G.A.J.M. & Dijkstra, M., 2007. "Stimulating Strategically Aligned Behaviour Among Employees," ERIM Report Series Research in Management ERS-2007-029-ORG, Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM), ERIM is the joint research institute of the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University and the Erasmus School of Economics (ESE) at Erasmus University Rotterdam.
    3. Hilal BARAN & Ceren GİDERLER, 2017. "A Study on Determining the Influence of Organizational Identification on Organizational Justice and Organizational Silence," International Journal of Asian Social Science, Asian Economic and Social Society, vol. 7(3), pages 242-258, March.
    4. Bell, Myrtle P. & Özbilgin, Mustafa F. & Beauregard, T. Alexandra & Sürgevil, Olca, 2011. "Voice, silence, and diversity in 21st century organizations: strategies for inclusion of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender employees," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 32094, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    5. van Riel, C.B.M. & Berens, G.A.J.M. & Dijkstra, M., 2008. "Stimulating Strategically Aligned Behaviour among Employees," ERIM Report Series Research in Management ERS-2008-045-ORG, Erasmus Research Institute of Management (ERIM), ERIM is the joint research institute of the Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University and the Erasmus School of Economics (ESE) at Erasmus University Rotterdam.
    6. Allison Ballard & Patricia Easteal, 2016. "Australia’s National Anti-Bullying Jurisdiction: Paper Tiger or Velvet Glove," Laws, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 5(1), pages 1-18, February.
    7. Clemente, Marco & Roulet, Thomas, 2015. "Public Opinion as a Source of Deinstitutionalization: A 'Spiral of Silence' Approach," MPRA Paper 60130, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    8. Travis, Dnika J. & Gomez, Rebecca J. & Mor Barak, Michàlle E., 2011. "Speaking up and stepping back: Examining the link between employee voice and job neglect," Children and Youth Services Review, Elsevier, vol. 33(10), pages 1831-1841, October.
    9. Michael Knoll & Rolf Dick, 2013. "Do I Hear the Whistle…? A First Attempt to Measure Four Forms of Employee Silence and Their Correlates," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 113(2), pages 349-362, March.
    10. Cees B. M. van Riel & Guido Berens & Majorie Dijkstra, 2009. "Stimulating Strategically Aligned Behaviour Among Employees," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 46(7), pages 1197-1226, November.
    11. T. Alexandra Beauregard & L. Arevshatian & Jonathan E. Booth & S. Whittle, 2016. "Listen carefully: transgender voices in the workplace," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 67793, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    12. repec:gam:jlawss:v:5:y:2016:i:1:p:4:d:63812 is not listed on IDEAS

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