The dynamics of organisations, informal voice and social justice

Research output: Contribution to conferenceOther


This paper presented an analysis of the relationship between employee voice, silence and social justice amongst precarious workers. Social and economic institutions and resources that have previously given employees a voice, albeit indirect, traditionally provided some protection for workers. These formal structures are eroding and large proportions of workers in the ‘invisible’ labour market of zero hours contracts, part time and low paid work may have limited access to voice. My previous research argues that organisation size, structure and culture shape managers’ choices in utilising combinations of both formal and informal voice. There may be a central role for informal voice in smaller organisations, yet informal voice is insufficient on its own to guarantee workers receive important information and be involved in discussions about work organisation. Formal and informal voice can operate together, both in parallel dealing with different issues, and in sequence for the same issues. Under this scenario, formal voice provides a safety net to ensure that messages reach all staff, whilst informal voice acts as a lubricant to facilitate discussion of issues considered within the formal system. Where managers do not involve the entire workforce or disregard formal voice, it is workers in the ‘invisible’ workforce who are likely to suffer most. This paper examines how these workers are involved in their workplace, how this impacts on performance and how access to voice impacts on the wellbeing workers.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusUnpublished - 18 Jun 2015
EventThe Centre for Evolution of Global Business and Institutions - University of York, York, United Kingdom
Duration: 18 Sept 201519 Oct 2015


ConferenceThe Centre for Evolution of Global Business and Institutions
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom

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