“I’d speak up if you didn’t make me step up”: A resource-based examination of voicer regret following supervisor delegation
The prevailing view in the voice literature is that employees raise change-oriented suggestions to supervisors who then assume responsibility for enacting the changes. Rather than viewing employees as bystanders to the voice-enactment process, we assert that supervisors often rope employees into voice-enactment efforts through delegation, bringing about costly work allocations that discourage employees from speaking up in the future. Integrating conservation of resources theory with theory on counterfactual thinking, we contend that supervisor delegation following employee voice increases employee job demands. Subsequently, counterfactual thoughts about an avoidable increase in job demands evoke regret for having spoken up, which in turn fosters silence as voicers “learn their lesson” and intentionally withhold input to defend their personal resources. Additionally, we argue that supervisor consultation represents a cost-offsetting resource that attenuates the negative effects of supervisor delegation to voicers. We find converging support for our theoretical model in a multi-wave field study of employees and supervisors, a 6-week experience sampling methodology study, and an experimental study. This research offers novel insights into the personal costs of voice to employees by contextualizing voice alongside the voice-enactment process and revealing supervisor delegation as an unintended cause of silence.
Meeting ID: 968 2348 1119