Members' Area  
Lost PasswordSignup
We invite all EAWOP members to participate in developing the organization. Please, click here to submit your contribution.
Twitter Facebook Linkedin YouTube

Special Issue: From silence to voice: How organizations can prevent unethical behavior and promote constructive voice at work


to be published in:
Zeitschrift für Personalforschung
(German Journal of Research in Human Resource Management)

The German Journal of Research in Human Resource Management is the highest ranked German journal covering research on all issues related to Human Resource Management (HRM) and is listed by the SSCI. The Special Issues published in English receive considerable attention both in Germany and internationally.

Due Date for Proposals (1500-1800 words): May 31st 2015
Due Date for Paper Submissions (max. 8500): October 31st 2015

Special Issue Editors:
Jürgen Wegge, Technische Universitaet Dresden, Germany,
Christine Unterrainer, University of Innsbruck, Austria
Thomas Jønsson, Aarhus University, Denmark
Silvia Silva, Instituto Universitário de Lisboa (ISCTE-IUL), Portugal
Michael Knoll, Durham University, United Kingdom

Whether employees express (i.e., voice) or withhold (i.e., silence) their views about work-related issues has consequences for individual and collective performance as well as occupational health and solidarity among employees (Morrison, 2014). Moreover, employee silence on unethical behaviors in organizations can also affect external stakeholders such as customers or patients. Little is known about the fac-tors that motivate organizational members to withhold their views about problemat-ic issues such as corruption, violation of health and safety regulations or socially ir-responsible action. Only recently, systematic approaches to study potential reasons for silence in organizations have been presented (Brinsfield, 2013; Knoll & van Dick, 2013). Suggestions to overcome silence in organizations, however, remain on a rather conceptual basis or are mere applications of research from related domains.
On the other hand, the question of why and how organizational members voice their opinions and more generally participate in organizational decision making has received considerable attention in OB and HRM research and empirically sound suggestions have been made how to promote these behaviors (for recent reviews, see Wegge et al., 2010; Wilkinson, Donaghey, Dundon, & Freeman, 2014). Given the fact that voice and silence are supposed to be discrete concepts and not merely two ends of a continuum (Morrison & Milliken, 2000; van Dyne, Ang, & Botero, 2003), it is not self-evident that ways to facilitate voice such as using participative or authentic lead-ership (Wegge et al., 2010) and creating a safe environment (Edmondson, 1999) are equally useful to address the different reasons employees have for remaining silent.
We believe and propose that integrating both research streams will enrich our knowledge regarding underlying processes and moderating variables involved in si-lence and related phenomena. Our special issue on “From Silence to Voice” aims at summarizing, integrating, and extending the current knowledge regarding both phenomena. In doing so, we seek to address a number of controversies and blind spots regarding these concepts. We especially encourage submissions that:

• provide a better theoretical/conceptual understanding of why and how employ-ees in organizations are silent or raise their voice;
• empirically elucidate the development of new instruments to assess silence and voice and the concepts’ nomological networks;
• provide evidence for the additional benefit of the silence concept above and beyond related concepts such as employee participation and the broad range of proactive work behaviors and employee voice in particular;
• discuss the basic impact of leadership, followership, organizational design, or-ganizational climate and context on promoting voice and preventing silence in organizations;
• explore the individual and organizational antecedents and moderating variables of voice and silence across different levels of the organization, across different cultures and industries, and over time;
• clarify the role of task demands and self-management skills of employees in this process;
• examine not only performance but also employee health, unethical behavior, cooperation and external effects as potential outcomes;
• integrate the silence concept in broader research models and provide insights in intervention studies that are aimed at overcoming silence in organizations.

Papers should deal with these issues in a powerful and compelling way, contributing to international research. The above list is by no means exhaustive, and other pa-pers are of course welcome and encouraged by the guest editors if voice or silence are central variables. While we welcome both empirical and purely conceptual manu-scripts, we particularly encourage the submission of empirical papers.

In order to be considered for publication in the Special Issue, a proposal of 1500-1800 words (a figure and/or table can be added) should be submitted by May 31st 2015. The editors will review the proposals and contact authors with an invitation to submit full manuscripts with a maximum of 8,500 words. Proposals and full papers must be written in English. The deadline for the full papers is October 31st 2015. The papers will undergo a double-blind review process. The authors will receive feed-back and a final decision by 31st January 2016. Finalized papers are due by the 15th of March 2016. Submitted papers must be unpublished and not submitted to other journals. Formal guidelines for final submission are available at

Please send proposals to:
Univ.-Prof. Dr. Jürgen Wegge
TU Dresden
Institute of Work-, Organisational- and Social Psychology
Zellescher Weg 17
01062 Dresden, Germany
Phone: +49 (0)351 463 33784
Fax: +49 (0)351 463 33589

Brown, M. E. & Mitchell, M. S. (2010). Ethical and unethical Leadership: Exploring new avenues for future research. Business Ethics Quarterly, 20, 583-616.
Brinsfield, C. T. (2013). Employee silence motives: Investigation of dimensionality and develop-ment of measures. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 34, 671-697.
Edmondson, A. (1999). Psychological safety and learning behavior in work teams. Administrative Science Quarterly, 44, 350-383.
Knoll, M. & van Dick, R. (2013). Do I hear the whistle…? A first attempt to measure four forms of employee silence and their correlates. Journal of Business Ethics, 113 (4), 349-362.
Morrison, E. (2014). Employee voice and silence. Annual Review of Organizational Psychology and Or-ganizational Behavior, 1, 173-197.
Morrison, E. W. & Milliken, F. J. (2000). Organizational silence: A barrier to change and devel-opment in a pluralistic world. Academy of Management Review, 25, 706-725
Van Dyne, L., Ang, S., & Botero, I. C. (2003). Conceptualizing employee silence and employee voice as multidimensional constructs. Journal of Management Studies, 40, 1359-1392.
Wegge, J., Jeppesen, H.-J., Weber, W. G., Pearce, C. L., Silvia, S. A., Pundt, A., Jønsson, T., Wolf, S., Wassenaar, C. L., Unterrainer, C., & Piecha, A. (2010). Promoting work motivation in or-ganizations: Should employee involvement in organizational leadership become a new tool in the organizational psychologists’ kit? Journal of Personnel Psychology, 9, 154-171.
Wilkinson, A. Donaghey, J., Dundon, T. & Freeman, R. B. (2014). Handbook of research on employee voice. New York: Edward Elgar Publishing.