Employee Silence …

The Impact of Employee Silence on Wellbeing and Performance

Employee silence is a discrete organizational behavior that undermines participation, biases communication, and limits self-expression at work. To date, four main reasons behind employee silence have been identified. Firstly, there is Quiescent silence which denotes silence that is based on fear, whereby speaking up may have negative effects on one’s career, damage relationships, or lead to being labelled as a “troublemaker” by superiors or colleagues. Secondly, there is Acquiescent silence which denotes silence that is based on resignation whereby one is silent because you think that speaking up will not make a difference and that potential recipients are not responsive or interested in the particular issue. The third type is Prosocial silence which denotes a type of silence where one withholds your views to protect or not to embarrass your superiors and colleagues. Finally, there is Opportunistic silence whereby one is silent due to selfish motives, such as the intention to protect a knowledge advantage or avoid additional workload. The objective of the research is to investigate the different types of silences and match them with the appropriate interventions.

Research Coordinator: Prof. Anthony Montgomery