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Published in: Journal of Business and Psychology 5/2022

02-02-2022 | Original Paper

When Is Silence Golden? A Meta-analysis on Antecedents and Outcomes of Employee Silence

Authors: Leilei Hao, Hui Zhu, Yuqian He, Jinyun Duan, Teng Zhao, Hui Meng

Published in: Journal of Business and Psychology | Issue 5/2022

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Abstract

Recent research on employee silence has grown rapidly, but findings remain quantitatively unsynthesized. This paper presents a comprehensive meta-analysis of antecedents and outcomes associated with employee silence derived from a proposed framework (k = 168 independent samples, N = 63,134 employees). The results demonstrated that employee silence was related to various leader-related factors, individual dispositions, and job perceptions and beliefs. Moreover, employee silence was also associated with essential well-being, job attitudes, and performance-related outcomes. Dominance analyses revealed that shared antecedents exerted differentiated roles in predicting silence and voice. Specifically, antecedents that align with behavioral activation systems (e.g., autonomy) accounted for a large proportion of the explained variance in voice, whereas antecedents that align with behavioral inhibition systems (e.g., psychological safety) accounted for a large proportion of the explained variance in silence. Subsequent analyses showed that associations with employee silence varied depending on distinguishable forms of employee silence. Finally, three forms of employee silence exhibited significant and incremental effects on job attitudes, task performance, and organizational citizenship behavior, with employee voice being considered simultaneously. These results also indirectly clued that employee voice and silence were distinct constructs. Beyond providing estimates of population correlations, the study implications and directions for future research are also discussed.
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Footnotes
1
Except for studies on neuroticism and agreeableness, no serious publication bias was found.
 
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Metadata
Title
When Is Silence Golden? A Meta-analysis on Antecedents and Outcomes of Employee Silence
Authors
Leilei Hao
Hui Zhu
Yuqian He
Jinyun Duan
Teng Zhao
Hui Meng
Publication date
02-02-2022
Publisher
Springer US
Published in
Journal of Business and Psychology / Issue 5/2022
Print ISSN: 0889-3268
Electronic ISSN: 1573-353X
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1007/s10869-021-09788-7

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