Voice and Whistleblowing in Organizations
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Voice and Whistleblowing in Organizations

Overcoming Fear, Fostering Courage and Unleashing Candour

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.
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Chapter 13: Developing and validating a quantitative measure of organizational courage

Overcoming Fear, Fostering Courage and Unleashing Candour

Ralph H. Kilmann, Linda A. O’Hara and Judy P. Strauss


Viewing organizations as rational systems – designed and managed by rational people – has recently been expanded to include the powerful role that human emotions play in organizational life and organizational success (Goleman et al., 2002). Indeed, attention to emotions in the workplace has been steadily increasing, as witnessed by recent books on the topic (e.g., Ashkanasy et al., 2000; Lord et al., 2002; Srivastva and Cooperrider, 1998), special journal issues (e.g., Fisher and Ashkanasy, 2000), and special magazine issues (e.g., Fast Company, 2004). Some of the emotions that have been studied include the positive emotions of happiness/joy, pride, love/affection, and courage as well as the negative emotions of anger, fright/anxiety, guilt/shame, sadness, envy/jealousy, and disgust (Lazarus, 1991). The activation and spread of these primal emotions can either facilitate or undermine the so-called rational pursuits of individuals and their organizations (Hatfield et al., 1994; Pugh, 2001).

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