Say It as It Is : Consequences of Voice Directness, Voice Politeness, and Voicer Credibility on Voice Endorsement

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)642-658
Journal / PublicationJournal of Applied Psychology
Issue number5
Online published8 Nov 2018
Publication statusPublished - May 2019


To gain endorsement from their managers, should employees be direct with explicit change suggestions, or should they be indirect with questions and hints? We draw on psychological threat and communication clarity theories to offer competing hypotheses with respect to the association between voice directness and managerial endorsement. We then further draw from social judgment research to theorize whether the relationship between voice directness and managerial endorsement might be modified by voicer politeness and voicer credibility. The results of an experimental study and two field studies show that being direct about change-oriented suggestions is associated with more frequent managerial endorsement when voicers are credible (Studies 1 and 2 in the United States) or polite (Study 3 in China). We discuss implications of these findings, limitations, and directions for future research.

Research Area(s)

  • managerial endorsement, voice directness, voicer credibility, voicer politeness