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How Social Class Shapes Organizational Voice

In this research, I investigate an under-appreciated antecedent of organizational voice – one’s social class background. Drawing on social learning theory and the social cognitive theory of social class, I propose a model of the effect of childhood social class on organizational voice. Employing both survey and experimental methods, I then test my hypotheses that social class background positively predicts employees’ willingness to exercise voice at work by shaping employees’ implicit theories of voice safety. Results of a survey, vignette experiment, and two behavioral studies revealed no support for my main predictions, though post-hoc analyses revealed the positive effects of current social class on voice suggesting over time markers of current social class may emerge to be more important predictors of organizational voice.

Gohar Harutyunyan
University of Utah
United States


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