Deciding to speak up or to remain silent following observed wrongdoing: The role of discrete emotions and climate of silence

Edwards, Marissa, Ashkanasy, Neal M. and Gardner, John (2009). Deciding to speak up or to remain silent following observed wrongdoing: The role of discrete emotions and climate of silence. In J. Greenberg and M. Edwards (Ed.), Voice and Silence in Organizations (pp. 83-109) Bingley, United Kingdom: Emerald Group Publishing.

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Author Edwards, Marissa
Ashkanasy, Neal M.
Gardner, John
Title of chapter Deciding to speak up or to remain silent following observed wrongdoing: The role of discrete emotions and climate of silence
Title of book Voice and Silence in Organizations
Place of Publication Bingley, United Kingdom
Publisher Emerald Group Publishing
Publication Year 2009
Sub-type Research book chapter (original research)
Open Access Status Other
Year available 2009
ISBN 9781848552128
Editor J. Greenberg
M. Edwards
Chapter number 4
Start page 83
End page 109
Total pages 27
Total chapters 12
Collection year 2010
Language eng
Subjects B1
150311 Organisational Behaviour
910402 Management
Abstract/Summary Employees who observe wrongdoing in the workplace must decide whether to speak up or remain silent. Despite the prevalence of wrongdoing in organizations, little is known about the decision-making of employees in this context and, in particular, the role of emotions in this process. We fill this void by proposing a model that specifies how discrete emotions influence employees’ decisions to engage in silence and whistle-blowing. Drawing on theoretical models of emotion and decision-making, we argue that employees’ emotional reactions to perceived wrongdoing involve a complex decision-making process involving experienced emotions, anticipatory emotions, and anticipated emotions. Specifically, we analyze the potential role of five discrete emotions in this process, arguing that anger and guilt predict whistle-blowing, whereas anticipatory fear and shame predict decisions to remain silent. We also discuss the role of anticipated regret in driving silence and whistle-blowing. Further, we suggest that an organizational climate of silence moderates the way employees respond emotionally and behaviorally following an episode of perceived wrongdoing. Finally, we conclude by discussing limitations, future directions, and implications for research.
Q-Index Code B1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status Unknown

 
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Created: Wed, 25 Mar 2009, 18:13:12 EST by Karen Morgan on behalf of UQ Business School