Symposium 1497 - Don’t Turn Away, In Silence. Who Will Lead For Participation?

Leadership and followership
Friday May 19   04:15 PM to 05:45 PM (1 hour 30 minutes)
Leadership and management
Leadership and followership
Don’t turn away, in silence. Who will lead for participation?
M. Knoll 1,*, C. Unterrainer 2
1Psychology, Technische Universität Chemnitz, Chemnitz, Germany, 2Psychology, University of Innsbruck, Innsbruck, Austria
Main Abstract Content: State of the Art
Words are powerful in organizations as they are the medium through which employees can express their opinions, ideas, and concerns. By doing so, they may improve their work environments, prevent organizations and external stakeholders from harm, and ward off dangers to themselves (Wegge et al., 2016). Recent economic, political, and social developments provoking organizational change and endangering industrial relations seem to inhibit genuine expression at work (see Eurofound, 2012) and thus threaten preconditions for the development of sustainable organizations and societies that protect and enhance individual and collective well-being (Weber et al., 2009).
New Perspectives/Contributions
Aiming at understanding the conditions under which employees do or do not initiate change, the symposium comprises 1) a cross-cultural study on differentially motivated employee silence, 2) meta-analytic results of working in democratic organizations, 3) a cross-level investigation on the link between socio-moral climate and silence, 4) a study on distributed leadership and employee participation, 5) research on leadership styles as determinants of moral-based silence, and 6) an experimental and field study on leader silence in the face of threat.
Research/Practical Implications
We invite symposium attendees to engage in a discourse about what is withheld and what is expressed in contemporary organizations. Such a discourse holds the potential to reorient work practices and procedures given what democracy, equality and diversity truly means if substantive portions of the workforce withhold their views or (has to) mute their expressions. The presentations focus on context variables will stimulate research-practice discussions on ways to create organizational environments that invite and encourage voice.
University of Innsbruck

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