DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2018.00539

Acta Psychologica Sinica (心理学报) 2018/50:5 PP.539-548

The relationship between the perceived climate of team Cha-xu and employee silence: Research on affective commitment and traditionality

Employee silence, referring to the deliberately withholding of important ideas, suggestions and opinions about their work, has become a critical issue to organizational development and management. Thus how to reduce and break employee silence has been increasingly emphasized by academics and practitioners. Few previous studies have explored the effect of Chinese contextual factors on employee silence behavior. This study attempts to explore the effect of Chinese contextual variables (the perceived climate of team Cha-xu and traditionality) on silence. Depending on the theory of social exchange, we also hypothesize that affective commitment mediates the effect between the perceived climate of team Cha-xu and silence.
We collected data from the main city of South China enterprises participants. Data were collected in two stages in order to avoid common method bias. At time 1, the perceived climate of team Cha-xu, affective commitment and traditionality were measured and reported by employees. At time 2, about three months later, employee silence was rated. The final sample size was 247. We used Mplus 7.4 and SPSS 23.0 to analyze the data. First, we assessed the discriminate validity of the key variables through a series of confirmatory factor analyses (CFAs) and examined the common method variance, and then we used cluster robust standard error analysis and bias-corrected bootstrap to test our theoretical hypotheses.
In order to better understand the mechanisms of silence, we proposed and tested a mediated moderation model in which the perceived climate of team Cha-xu influenced employees silence, with affective commitment as a mediator and traditionality as a moderator. The results showed that:(1) the perceived climate of team Cha-xu was positively related to employee silence (β=0.14, p < 0.05); (2) the perceived climate of team Cha-xu was negatively related to affective commitment (β=-0.28, p < 0.001); (3) affective commitment partially mediated the relationship between the perceived climate of team Cha-xu and employee silence (β=0.03, p < 0.05); (4) Traditionality moderated the relationship between the perceived climate of team Cha-xu and affective commitment (β=0.11, p < 0.001). That is, the lower the traditionality, the stronger the mediated relationship was. Furthermore, we referred to the SPSS procedure of Preacher et al. (2007) to test the mediated moderation effect. At the different levels of traditionality, the indirect relationship between the perceived climate of team Cha-xu and employee silence is significant, indicating that the mediating moderation effect exists.
Those conclusions enrich the silence literature, and the main theoretical contributions are as follows:First, according to the theory of social exchange, this study investigates the effects of the perceived climate of team Cha-xu on employees' silence and fully considers the effect of affective commitment on silence. In addition, this research reveals the moderating role of traditionality on the mechanism, which provides a new perspective to better understand silence based on the traditional Chinese cultural context. Beyond the theoretical contributions, this paper also provides some useful implications for managers and practitioners to break the silence. Our findings suggest that managers should pay attention to the team Cha-xu climate and strengthen the justice climate within the organization, in order to reduce the subordinates' negative emotions. Moreover, the employees' affective commitment is key to whether they will break the silence and speak out. Thus, managers should also attach importance to their affective commitment.

Key words:the perceived climate of team Cha-xu,affective commitment,traditionality,employee silence

ReleaseDate:2018-07-02 16:16:01

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