Employee voice: An antecedent to organisational engagement?

Ruck, Kevin, Welch, Mary and Menara, Barbara (2017) Employee voice: An antecedent to organisational engagement? Public Relations Review . ISSN 0363-8111

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Official URL: http://doi.org/10.1016/j.pubrev.2017.04.008


Employee engagement is recognised as important for organisational effectiveness and a factor in achieving innovation and competiveness. Despite the importance of engagement, relatively little research has yet been done on communication and engagement. This paper aims to contribute to knowledge in this area by providing insight on internal communication and organisational level employee engagement. The paper reports the results of a study exploring associations between aspects of internal communication and organisational engagement. Taking an employee-centric approach, the paper investigates employee satisfaction with opportunities to exercise their voice, and assesses employee views on the quality of senior management receptiveness to employee voice. The paper aims to address gaps in the literature by exploring potential associations between employee voice and organisational engagement.
A questionnaire was used to gather data from 2066 participants in five UK-based organisations. The questionnaire used in the study was designed to explore satisfaction with upward employee voice and senior management receptiveness. It also enables exploration of the relationship between upward employee voice, senior manager receptiveness and emotional organisational engagement. A significant and positive relationship was found between upward employee voice and emotional organisational engagement; and between senior manager receptiveness and emotional organisational engagement. Regression analysis suggests that the majority of the employee voice variables included in the study predict emotional organisational engagement. While the study involved data collected from a reasonably large number of participants, it was limited to five UK-based organisations.
The paper includes reflection on practical implications of the findings for internal communication management. In particular, it considers implications for senior management communication with employees including building employee voice into internal corporate communication strategies and plans. Suggestions for further research are included. The paper contributes to employee engagement literature by expanding insight on organisational engagement. Since relatively little previous research has considered the interplay between internal communication, organisational engagement and employee voice, the study makes a useful contribution to an under-researched area.

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