Changing Patterns of Employee Voice: Case Studies from the UK and Republic of Ireland

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Abstract

In this paper we examine a wide range of employee voice mechanisms from a total of 18 case studies from the UK and Republic of Ireland. We examine how voice is defined by managers and how they link voice with improved economic efficiency. The evidence suggests that employee voice is more extensive in terms of its ‘scope’ and ‘impact’ than a decade ago, although the ‘level’ at which employees have a say remains the preserve of managerial control. The evidence also suggests that the link between voice and organisational performance is problematic. The conclusion argues that organisations now face a diffuse and persistent range of concerns from highly articulate employees. In this respect, managing employee voice will be closely related to managing diversity.

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