Typology of Employee-Oriented Voice: An Exploration of Voice Content

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This qualitative study explores the typology of employee improvement-oriented voice, or the ideas and suggestions employees speak up the hierarchy with the intention to enhance organizational processes. Research suggests that the content of employee voice can affect the voice calculus and influence whether or not the speaker voices his suggestions or ideas up the hierarchy. Further, characteristics of employee voice can affect a manager’s decision to propagate employee voice up, down and across the hierarchy. Thus, exploring the typology of employee voice can lead to a finer-grain understanding of the types of ideas and suggestions that employees pass up the hierarchy, and the process in which these types of ideas and suggestions can influence the flow of communication up, down and across the hierarchy. In other words, understanding what suggestions and ideas employees choose to speak up to their managers can have an importance in unpacking the process of how managers pass on valuable employee input to other levels of the organization, as well as understanding further why employees choose to speak up or remain silent. This study surveyed 135 full-time working managers to collect data on actual suggestions and ideas voiced by their subordinates. A typology of employee improvement-oriented voice is put forth, and implications are discussed.

Original languageAmerican English
JournalJournal of Management Policies and Practices
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015


  • Employee voice
  • typology of employee voice
  • suggestions and ideas from employees


  • Business
  • Economics

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