Speaking more broadly: an examination of the nature, antecedents, and consequences of an expanded set of employee voice behaviors

J Appl Psychol. 2014 Jan;99(1):87-112. doi: 10.1037/a0034284. Epub 2013 Sep 16.


Scholarly interest in employee voice behavior has increased dramatically over the past 15 years. Although this research has produced valuable knowledge, it has focused almost exclusively on voice as a positively intended challenge to the status quo, even though some scholars have argued that it need not challenge the status quo or be well intentioned. Thus, in this paper, we create an expanded view of voice; one that extends beyond voice as a positively intended challenge to the status quo to include voice that supports how things are being done in organizations as well as voice that may not be well intentioned. We construct a framework based on this expanded view that identifies 4 different types of voice behavior (supportive, constructive, defensive, and destructive). We then develop and validate survey measures for each of these. Evidence from 5 studies across 4 samples provides strong support for our new measures in that (a) a 4-factor confirmatory factor analysis model fit the data significantly better than 1-, 2-, or 3-factor models; (b) the voice measures converged with and yet remained distinct from conceptually related comparison constructs; (c) personality predictors exhibited unique patterns of relationships with the different types of voice; (d) variations in actual voice behaviors had a direct causal impact on responses to the survey items; and (e) each type of voice significantly impacted important outcomes for voicing employees (e.g., likelihood of relying on a voicing employee's opinions and evaluations of a voicing employee's overall performance). Implications of our findings are discussed.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Employment / psychology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations*
  • Male
  • Personality / physiology*
  • Social Behavior*
  • Verbal Behavior / classification*
  • Young Adult