Voice Lessons: Tempered Radicalism and the Use of Voice and Silence


Address for reprints: W. E. Douglas Creed, College of Business Administration, The University of Rhode Island, Kingston, RI 02881, USA (douglas.creed@uri.edu).


ABSTRACT This article explores the ontology of voice and silence in the context of tempered radicalism. The career experiences of gay and lesbian Protestant ministers illuminate key issues for understanding voice and silence in organizations. First, social actors’ discursive context provides genres and plots for the construction of self-hood that shape their use of voice and silence. Second, voice and silence are ambiguous, intertwined phenomena. When you are saying one thing, you are not saying another. Third, self-authorization – a form of institutional change agency – legitimates action that falls outside institutional norms for authorized resistance, while framing these actions as enactments of institutional values and beliefs.