What's in a word? Using construal-level theory to predict voice endorsement

Bert Schreurs*, Melvyn R. W. Hamstra, Tina Davidson

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Voice endorsement is a pivotal means by which employees can influence leadership processes and the organization at large. Up till now, research on voice endorsement has lacked unified theoretical frameworks that can shed light on antecedents of voice endorsement in a more integrative way as well as help identify new and relevant antecedents in a systematic and theory-based manner. We propose that construal-level theory can serve as one such unifying framework and showcase this potential by applying it to voice endorsement. Drawing on construal-level theory we propose that when an employee frames his/her voice messages in a manner that is compatible with the psychological distance between the employee and the supervisor, the supervisor will find the employee''s voice messages easier to process and, consequently, will be more likely to endorse them. Three experiments using different manipulations of voice message frame and psychological distance, and a mini meta-analysis of the three experiments, provide support for our construal compatibility hypothesis and initial evidence for the experienced ease-of-processing logic. We discuss how our construal-level approach to voice endorsement can shed light on previous findings as well as open up new avenues for future research.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)93-105
Number of pages13
JournalEuropean Journal of Work and Organizational Psychology
Volume29
Issue number1
Early online date28 Nov 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jan 2020

Keywords

  • Construal-level theory
  • employee voice
  • voice endorsement
  • upward communication
  • EMPLOYEE VOICE
  • PSYCHOLOGICAL DISTANCE
  • SPEAKING
  • BEHAVIOR
  • FLUENCY
  • MESSAGE
  • DESIRABILITY
  • FEASIBILITY
  • ANTECEDENTS
  • LEADERSHIP

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