Date of Award


Document Type

Open Access Dissertation


Moore School of Business


Business Administration

First Advisor

Elizabeth C Ravlin

Second Advisor

Brian S Klaas


Constructive input from a diverse workforce can enhance firm performance. However, cultural norms and differences in communication behavior expectations may prevent concerns and suggestions from being expressed, or from being implemented when they are expressed. The purpose of the current study is to bridge the Human Resources, Organizational Behavior, Communications, and International Management literatures in an attempt to understand how subordinates with different communicaton norms voice and how (or whether) managers use the content of the voiced messages. Two models are presented examining prohibitive and promotive voice as central variables in the relationship between subordinate communication style and subordinate influence over managerial decisions. The models also present manager communication style and the relationship factors of leader-member exchange, psychological safety, and felt obligation for constructive change as moderators of the more general relationships proposed. Results of a field study including subordinates and managers from six continents produced several findings. In line with hypotheses, subordinate communication style had a direct effect on prohibitive voice, while its effect on promotive voice was moderated by leader-member exchange quality. Also, leader-member exchange quality and manager communication style moderated the relationship of each voice type with influence over managerial decisions. Implications and limitations are discussed.


© 2013, Anna-Katherine Ward