Voice and Whistleblowing in Organizations

Voice and Whistleblowing in Organizations

Overcoming Fear, Fostering Courage and Unleashing Candour

New Horizons in Management series

Edited by Ronald J. Burke and Cary L. Cooper

This book examines the decision to speak out in organizations or to keep silent, the roles of fear and courage, and why increasing valid information and truth is central to individual and organizational health. Employees in organizations face countless daily situations in which they make a choice to speak up, exercise voice, or remain silent. Too many choose to remain silent. Others only tell supervisors what they want to hear, becoming ‘yes’ men and women. Expressing one’s voice increases individual health and well-being and enhances learning, quality and timeliness of decision making, work engagement, and ultimately team and organizational success. This volume, containing chapters by international researchers, examines the causes and consequences of exercising voice and ways individuals and organizations can support voice in the workplace.

Chapter 6: Voice as a pivotal force in organizational efforts to curb workplace bullying

Maiyuwai Reeves

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


The opening quote from Alan Hirschman’s seminal text Exit, Voice, and Loyalty (1970) encapsulates three of the key questions weighed in organizations whenever individuals must decide whether or not to exercise voice. First, what are the risks involved? Second, are alternative courses of action available? Third, under what conditions is voice a more beneficial option than exit? The first and second questions were addressed in earlier chapters which examined the costs of voice for individuals, teams, and organizations and fear, silence, and courage in the workplace, respectively. In this chapter, I will explore the third question within the context of situations of workplace bullying, which provides an interesting lens for studying voice in organizations.

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