International differences in employee silence motives : scale validation, prevalence, and relationships with culture characteristics across 33 countries
ID Knoll, Michael (Author), ID Götz, Martin (Author), ID Adriasola, Elisa (Author), ID Bogilović, Sabina (Author), ID Černe, Matej (Author)

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Employee silence, the withholding of work-related ideas, questions, or concerns from someone who could effect change, has been proposed to hamper individual and collective learning as well as the detection of errors and unethical behaviors in many areas of the world. To facilitate cross-cultural research, we validated an instrument measuring four employee silence motives (i.e., silence based on fear, resignation, prosocial, and selfish motives) in 21 languages. Across 33 countries (N = 8,222) representing diverse cultural clusters, the instrument shows good psychometric properties (i.e., internal reliabilities, factor structure, measurement invariance). Results further revealed similarities and differences in the prevalence of silence motives between countries, but did not necessarily support cultural stereotypes. To explore the role of culture for silence, we examined relationships of silence motives with the societal practices cultural dimensions from the GLOBE Program. We found relationships between silence motives and power distance, institutional collectivism, and uncertainty avoidance. Overall, the findings suggest that relationships between silence and cultural dimensions are more complex than commonly assumed. We discuss the explanatory power of nations as (cultural) units of analysis, our social scientific approach, the predictive value of cultural dimensions, and opportunities to extend silence research geographically, methodologically, and conceptually.

Keywords:work organization, corporate culture, knowledge transfer, context, cross-cultural research, culture, employee silence, voice
Work type:Article
Typology:1.01 - Original Scientific Article
Organization:EF - School of Economics and Business
Publication status:Published
Publication version:Version of Record
Number of pages:Str. 619-648
Numbering:Vol. 42, iss. 5
PID:20.500.12556/RUL-127476 This link opens in a new window
ISSN on article:0894-3796
DOI:10.1002/job.2512 This link opens in a new window
COBISS.SI-ID:54152707 This link opens in a new window
Publication date in RUL:09.06.2021
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Record is a part of a journal

Title:Journal of organizational behavior
Shortened title:J. organ. behav.
COBISS.SI-ID:212499 This link opens in a new window


License:CC BY-NC-ND 4.0, Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International
Description:The most restrictive Creative Commons license. This only allows people to download and share the work for no commercial gain and for no other purposes.
Licensing start date:03.03.2021

Secondary language

Keywords:delovna organizacija, vodenje, kultura podjetja, prenos znanja


Funding programme:Comisión Nacional de Investigación Científica y Tecnológica de Chile
Project number:CONICYT FONDECYT/INI11160859

Funding programme:Universidad de Los Andes, Fondo de Apoyo para Profesores Asistentes
Project number:P17.100322.004

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