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Breaking the Silence: The Moderating Effects of Self-Monitoring in Predicting Speaking Up in the Workplace


  • Sonya Fontenot Premeaux
  • Arthur G. Bedeian


Whereas both management scholars and practitioners emphasize the importance of employee input for improving workplace practices, research suggests that many employees are hesitant to express their opinions or voice their views because doing so might lead to retaliation. Consequently, they remain silent rather than speak up about workplace happenings, actions or ideas of others, needed changes, and other job-related issues. Drawing on various literatures, we developed and tested a conceptual scheme for examining the influence of self-monitoring on the relationships between two individual (locus of control and self-esteem) and two contextual (top-management openness and trust in supervisor) factors and speaking up. Data from 118 telecommunications employees and their coworkers provided supporting evidence. As predicted, low self-monitors, in comparison to high self-monitors, spoke up more often as internal locus of control, self-esteem, top-management openness, and trust in supervisor increased. The theoretical and practical implications of our results are discussed. Copyright Blackwell Publishing Ltd 2003.

Suggested Citation

  • Sonya Fontenot Premeaux & Arthur G. Bedeian, 2003. "Breaking the Silence: The Moderating Effects of Self-Monitoring in Predicting Speaking Up in the Workplace," Journal of Management Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 40(6), pages 1537-1562, September.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:jomstd:v:40:y:2003:i:6:p:1537-1562

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Tiedens, Larissa Z., 2001. "Anger and Advancement versus Sadness and Subjugation: The Effect of Negative Emotion Expressions on Social Status Conferral," Research Papers 1615, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
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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. repec:hur:ijarbs:v:7:y:2017:i:12:p:859-873 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Siu, Wai-sum, 2008. "Yuan and marketing: The perception of Chinese owner-managers," Journal of World Business, Elsevier, vol. 43(4), pages 449-462, October.
    4. David Whiteside & Laurie Barclay, 2013. "Echoes of Silence: Employee Silence as a Mediator Between Overall Justice and Employee Outcomes," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 116(2), pages 251-266, August.
    5. Yang, Zhiyong & Wang, Jingguo & Mourali, Mehdi, 2015. "Effect of peer influence on unauthorized music downloading and sharing: The moderating role of self-construal," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 68(3), pages 516-525.
    6. Jehn, Karen A. & Bezrukova, Katerina, 2010. "The faultline activation process and the effects of activated faultlines on coalition formation, conflict, and group outcomes," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 112(1), pages 24-42, May.
    7. Aziz Gokhan Ozkoc & Tugba Bektas, 2016. "Organizational Support and Self-Efficacy as the Predictors of Dissenter Behavior among Hotel Employees," International Journal of Academic Research in Business and Social Sciences, Human Resource Management Academic Research Society, International Journal of Academic Research in Business and Social Sciences, vol. 6(5), pages 285-305, May.
    8. Marcia Miceli & Janet Near & Terry Dworkin, 2009. "A Word to the Wise: How Managers and Policy-Makers can Encourage Employees to Report Wrongdoing," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 86(3), pages 379-396, May.
    9. Yang, Zhiyong & Laroche, Michel, 2011. "Parental responsiveness and adolescent susceptibility to peer influence: A cross-cultural investigation," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 64(9), pages 979-987, September.

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