Voice in context: an international comparative study of employee experience with voice in small and medium enterprises

Rea Prouska, Aidan McKearney, John Opute, May Tungtakanpoung, Chris Brewster

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The study of employee voice in small and medium enterprises (SMEs) across national contexts remains under-theorised and under-studied. This paper uses Kaufman?s integrative model of employee voice, and an exploratory study of 30 interviews with employees in non-unionised SMEs in the United Kingdom, Thailand and Nigeria, to compare the employee experience with voice, and the impact of this experience on voice behaviour at work. Findings show that the interaction between the external institutional context and internal SME context (organisational configuration, governance structure and internal contingencies in the employment relationship) impacts employee voice agency, the perceived levels of voice and, ultimately, employee voice behaviour. The paper contributes to employee voice theory by offering an analysis of voice determinants on voice behaviour specific to non-unionised SMEs from an international comparative employee perspective, presents these in an initial framework and explains how employees experience voice in small workplaces.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3149-3174
Number of pages26
JournalInternational Journal of Human Resource Management
Issue number15
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jun 2021
Externally publishedYes

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