A Research Companion
Edited by Mustafa F. Özbiligin
Chapter 15: Challenging the Status Quo: Diversity, Employee Voice and Proactive Behaviour
Johannes Rank INTRODUCTION ‘The expression of voice, in the form of criticism that seeks to improve the organization, is central to a principled vision of true organizational democracy’ (Cheney, 1995, p. 186). This quote summarises why I was attracted to the study of employee voice, initiative and innovation as a postgraduate psychology student in the US and Germany (Rank et al., 2004a, 2004b), have completed my doctorate in this domain (Rank, 2006a), and explore related issues in my current work (Rank et al., in press). Within occupational psychology and organisational behaviour, this research falls into the expanding field of proactivity studies, which is concerned with self-started, forward-thinking and change-orientated behaviour (Crant, 2000; Parker et al., 2006). The purpose of this chapter is not only to integrate the psychological diversity and proactivity literature but also to engage in voice by challenging the status quo and providing suggestions for conceptual improvements and future research. An additional aim is to make diversity-related insights gained from complex quantitative psychological studies more obvious and accessible to scholars from other disciplines. My primary contribution is the development of an integrative model (see Figure 15.1) explicating some of the psychological processes that may increase the likelihood that diverse employees, especially those from disadvantaged groups, will engage in proactive behaviour, particularly in voice and initiative. Throughout the chapter, I describe these antecedents and explain their connections to proactivity outcomes. The study of employee voice and initiative is intertwined with issues of diversity, equality and inclusion, because members of...
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