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 8: Voice climate in organizations: creating a context for speaking up at work

M. Lance Frazier

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


Organizations are constantly being challenged to leverage their skills and competencies to maintain an advantage in today’s global economy. At the firm level, today’s organizations are faced with global competition, rapidly evolving technology, and pressure from stakeholders to continually improve efficiency. As a result of these pressures on organizations, the expectations of the employees in these organizations have also evolved. Today’s employees are held to very different performance standards with an increased emphasis on being proactive and more involved in their work. It comes as no surprise then that the study of speaking up at work has flourished in recent years. Voice behavior has been shown to be theoretically and empirically linked to a number of important organizational outcomes, such as performance, learning, and job satisfaction (Morrison, 2011). Despite the many benefits that have been associated with voice, speaking up challenges the status quo and has the possibility to upset personal relationships.

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