Too Much of a Good Thing: The Tipping Point of Employee Voice

Journal of Economics and Business

ISSN 2615-3726 (Online)

ISSN 2621-5667 (Print)

Published: 16 April 2020

Too Much of a Good Thing: The Tipping Point of Employee Voice

Nancy L. Lam, Arnav Sheth

Saint Mary’s College of California

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10.31014/aior.1992.03.02.218

Pages: 536-544

Keywords: Employee Voice, Profit Maximization, Interdisciplinary Work, Liability of Voice

Abstract

Extant voice research suggests that voice has a positive effect on organizations, which indicates that an unlimited amount of resources should be devoted to increasing employee voice. However, resources that can enable and facilitate voice - such as managerial attention and focus - can be costly to organizations. Given that there is a cost to increasing employee voice, the benefit of employee voice may not continuously justify the cost. From an interdisciplinary perspective using the Radner-Shepp-Shiryaev mathematical framework in finance, we find that employee voice is beneficial for an organization up to a point. Specifically, we find that employee voice, despite having a myriad of positive outcomes for organizations, reaches a tipping point where the cost of voice to the organization may outweigh its benefits. After this tipping point is reached, organizations do not benefit from investing to increase employee voice. The mere presence of employee voice, without regard to how much, may not be sufficient for enhanced organizational performance. Implications for this work are discussed.

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