Nonlinear consequences of promotive and prohibitive voice for managers’ responses: The roles of voice frequency and LMX.

Departing from past research on managers’ responses to employee voice, we propose and examine a nonlinear linkage between promotive/prohibitive voice and managers’ evaluations of voicers (i.e., manager-rated voicers’ promotability and overall performance). Drawing from social persuasion theory, we theorize that managers tend to give more positive evaluations to employees who engage in a moderate frequency of promotive/prohibitive voice than those who either rarely speak up or speak up very frequently. In Study 1, based on a sample from a Chinese bank, we found that leader-member exchange quality (LMX) moderated the inverted U-shaped linkage of prohibitive voice with manager-rated promotability of voicers, whereas the frequency of promotive voice was not related to promotability, irrespective of levels of LMX. In Study 2, using employee-reported voice frequency, rather than the manager-rated measures adopted in Study 1, we largely replicated the main findings of Study 1 based on a sample from an information technology firm in the United States. In Study 3, using another U.S. sample, from a financial services firm, we found that manager-perceived voice constructiveness mediated the curvilinear interactive effect of prohibitive voice (rather than promotive voice) and LMX on managers’ evaluations of employees’ overall performance. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2018 APA, all rights reserved)