A Configural Approach to Understanding Voice Behavior in Teams
Employee voice, or expression of ideas or opinions aimed at improving collective functioning, is believed to be conducive to teams and organizations. Though recent research has started to examine whether voice from employees can be turned into improved collective outcomes as defined and how, the extant research has assumed either that the influence of voice was exerted within teams as a whole, or that voice was distributed in an egalitarian fashion among team members. These assumptions have constrained us from developing a more accurate understanding of the pattern of voice that occurs within teams and how the voice pattern affects team process and effectiveness. To address these issues, I take a configural approach to furthering investigation of voice in a team context in this dissertation. Specifically, I have attempted to unpack how configuration in antecedents may predict occurrence of voice behavior and how configuration of voice influences team process and effectiveness. Three studies of this dissertation examine (a) the antecedents of employee upward voice with a focus on dispersion in leader-member exchange (LMX) relationship, captured by self-other (dis)similarity in LMX, (b) how cross-expertise voice, or voice that occurs between members of different expertise backgrounds, affects team process and performance, and (c) how voice distribution gets structured within teams over time and how teams proactively navigate this process by placing right persons in more active speaking roles.