Author ORCID Identifier


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Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy



First Advisor

Jose Cortina



In recent years, there has been a growing body of research focused on improving our understanding of employee voice behavior. Yet this literature focuses mainly on factors that influence employees’ decisions regarding whether to speak up (i.e., quantity of voice behavior), rather than factors that influence whether voice behavior turns out to be effective. As a result, job attitudes and personality characteristics have been identified as the major personal factors predicting voice behavior. The current study contributes to the voice literature by viewing voice from an upward influence angle, examining the influences of the quality of content and delivery of voice in predicting voice effectiveness. In addition, this study also examines the roles of knowledge and skills in increasing the quality of voice content and delivery as well as efficacy to voice. Data were collected from 467 business school students making suggestions for their instructors to improve the course in the future. Instructed rated the quality of suggestion content as well as their willingness to incorporate the suggestion in the future (i.e., voice effectiveness). Two third-party coders coded whether or not influence tactics were used in each suggestion as well as the quality of the use of tactics. Multilevel modeling results showed that content quality was the strongest predictor of voice effectiveness, compared to the use of influence tactics and voice quantity. In further, results showed that using ingratiation tactics significantly predicted voice effectiveness regardless of quality. In comparison, using rational persuasion tactics only predicted voice effectiveness when it was used in a high-quality manner. Contrary to expectation, none of the predictions of knowledge and skill variables was significant. These results together supported the value of examining the quality aspect of voice, as well as calling for more precision in the research of influence tactics. Towards the end, a theory of voice as an upward influence was proposed to guide future research.


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