Table of Contents

Handbook of Research on Employee Voice

Handbook of Research on Employee Voice

Elgar original reference

Edited by Adrian Wilkinson, Jimmy Donaghey, Tony Dundon and Richard B. Freeman

The term ‘employee voice’ refers to the ways and means through which employees can attempt to have a say and influence organizational issues that affect their work and the interests of managers and owners. The concept is distinct, but related to and often overlapping with issues such as participation, involvement and, more recently, engagement. This Handbook provides an up-to-date survey of the current research into employee voice, sets this research into context and sets a marker for future research in the area.

Chapter 12: The missing employee in employee voice research

Dionne M. Pohler and Andrew A. Luchak

Subjects: business and management, human resource management, organisational behaviour


The purpose of this review is to discuss employee voice from the perspective of the employee. However, employee voice is not a uniform concept with a broadly agreed upon definition. Employee experiences with voice differ across different voice regimes and also greatly depend on the underlying purpose or motivation behind its use. Given this, we felt it appropriate to develop a matrix to allow for the broad categorization of the seemingly disparate literatures on employee voice. Our matrix is based on two dimensions: the normative intention or purpose of voice and the phenomenon of interest under study. Based on this classification system, we briefly review the key developments in each of these literatures. We then take stock of this research by highlighting how the various literatures examining employee voice have all fallen somewhat short in explicitly integrating the perspective and interests of employees. We conclude by proposing avenues for future research. In particular, we argue that increased integration between disciplines that examine voice and participation in the workplace would better serve not only employees, but also unions, employers, policy-makers and researchers.

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