Subra Tangirala: Employee Silence on Critical Work Issues

Morela interviews Subra Tangirala about research he and Ranga Ramanujam did on the managerial and organizational implications of employee silence. They propose that managers can prevent employee silence by creating a procedurally fair climate within the organization, as well as increasing their employees’ workgroup identification and professional commitment.

Subra Tangirala

Subra Tangirala ( stangirala@rhsmith.umd.edu ) is an Assistant Professor of Management and Organization at the University of Maryland’s Smith School of Business. His research focuses on interpersonal communication in organizations, and in particular, how technology is influencing the way employees communicate with each other. Recently, he has also explored reasons why employees often remain silent despite having information, concerns, or suggestions to share, and what organizations can do to facilitate candid exchange of ideas at the workplace. Professor Tangirala received his Ph.D. in organizational behavior and human resources from Purdue University. Prior to his doctoral studies, he worked for several years as a human resources manager.

Recommended further readings:

  • Tangirala, S. & Ramanujam, R. (2008). Employee silence on critical work issues: The cross level effects of procedural justice climate. Personnel Psychology, 61: 37-68.
  • Perlow, L. A., & Williams, S. (May, 2003). Is silence killing your company? Harvard Business Review, 52-58.
  • Detert, J. R., & Edmondson, A.C. (May, 2007). Why employees are afraid to speak up. Harvard Business Review, 23-25. Boston, MA: Harvard Business School Press.
  • Morrison, E. W., & Milliken, F. J. (2000). Organizational silence: a barrier to change and development in a pluralistic world. Academy of Management Review, 25: 706-725.
  • LePine, J.A., & Van Dyne, L. (1998). Predicting voice behavior in work groups. Journal of Applied Psychology, 83, 853-868.

Morela Hermandez

Morela Hernandez is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Management and Organization in the Foster Business School at the University of Washington. She can be reached at morela@u.washington.edu