Organizational Silence

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Vakola, M., Nikolaou, I., & Bourantas, D. (2004). The Role of Organizational Silence on Employees’ Trust and Attitudes in a Post Merger-Stage. Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management, New Orleans.

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Organizational Silence

  1. 1. The Role of Organizational Silence on Employees’ Trust and Attitudes in a Post-Merger Stage Maria Vakola Ioannis Nikolaou Dimitris Bourantas Athens U of Economics and Business, Greece http://www.aueb.gr
  2. 2. Organizational Silence
  3. 3. Organizational Silence <ul><li>The actor’s motivation to with-hold versus express ideas, information, and opinions about work-related improvements (Van Dyne, Ang & Botero, 2003) </li></ul><ul><li>A potentially dangerous impediment to organizational change (Morrison & Milliken, 2000) </li></ul><ul><li>Silence is not only ubiquitous and expected in organizations but extremely costly to both the firm and the individual (Perlow & Williams, 2003) </li></ul>
  4. 4. Organizational Trust <ul><li>A psychological state that provides a representation of how individuals understand their relationship with another party in situations that involve risk or vulnerability (Dirks & Ferrin, 2001) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Main effects </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Moderating effects </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. Organizational Trust <ul><li>Galford & Drapeau (2003) levels of trust: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Organizational Trust </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Strategic – Leadership Trust </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Personal – Trust to Supervision </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. Hypotheses <ul><li>Employees’ perceptions of trust (3 levels of trust; supervision, leadership, organization) will be positively related to merger outcomes </li></ul><ul><li>If employees perceive their work climate as silent, they develop negative merger outcomes </li></ul><ul><li>Organizational silence partially mediates the relationship between trust and merger outcomes </li></ul>
  7. 7. Method <ul><li>An IT company absorbing its subsidiaries </li></ul><ul><ul><li>6 months after a merger </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>358 participants in study 1 (holding co.) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>319 participants in study 2 (subsidiaries) </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. Measures <ul><li>16-items Organizational Trust measure: 3 Levels (alphas >.83) </li></ul><ul><li>7-items Organizational Silence measure (alphas >.81) </li></ul><ul><li>Merger outcomes </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Post-merger Attitudes (7-items, alphas >.88) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Organizational Commitment (Porter et al., 1974; alphas > .77) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Employee Satisfaction (Hackman & Oldham, 1980; alphas > .85) </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. Results (1) <ul><li>Positive relationships between all three types of trust and merger outcomes ( r s > .30, p <.01) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The strongest relationship was with employee satisfaction </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Negative relationships between trust and organizational silence ( r s > -.34, p <.01) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Mult. R s: >.31, p <.01 </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Results (2) <ul><li>Mostly partial and few full mediation effects of org. silence on the relationship between trust and merger outcomes e.g. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Silence fully mediates the relationship between trust to leadership and satisfaction and commitment </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Silence partially mediates the relationship between trust to supervisor and merger outcomes </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Silence partially mediates the relationship between trust to organization and merger outcomes </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. Summary of findings <ul><li>The important role of organizational trust in a post-merger stage was verified. </li></ul><ul><li>The significance of organizational silence and its interaction with organizational trust in a post-merger stage was identified for the first time. </li></ul>
  12. 12. Implications <ul><li>Research </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Need to further explore silence and trust before, during and after a merger. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Practise </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Increased communication and employee participation leads to increased employee morale before, during and after a merger. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Study limitations </li></ul>

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