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Eastern Academy of Management 2019

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The Sound of Silence: What Happens When Employee Voice is (or is not) Expressed

This study investigates how transformational leadership affects employee positive and negative behaviors via psychological safety and voice. We predicted and tested a doubly mediated relationship between transformational leadership and employee behaviors - helping and production deviance - as a function of expressing or withholding voice. Drawing from a multi-source longitudinal study of 539 knowledge workers and using multivariate regression we tested our mediation hypotheses and potential qualifying factors. Our findings support the hypotheses that psychological safety and voice mediate the relationships between transformational leadership and the behavioral outcomes. In addition, the relationship between voice and helping behavior was moderated by task interdependence, and the relationship between voice and production deviance was moderated by employee agreeableness. This paper provides evidence for the important role of voice as evoking emotional reactions that can lead to behaviors that can benefit or harm the organization.

Mirit K. Grabarski
University of Western Ontario

Alison M. Konrad
University of Western Ontario

Charlice Hurst
University of Notre Dame
United States


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