Organizational Silence


This article provides various definitions of “Organizational Silence” as proposed by other scholars in the field. The authors define the term “Organizational Silence” as the “act of employees choosing to withhold their ideas, opinions, and concerns about organizational problems (Morrisson and Milliken, 2000) Others such as Pinder and Harlos (2001) define it ” as a reaction to injustice and unfairness”.

Article Summary

The organizational silence of midwives and nurses: reasons and results.

Given the importance of communication in the health care industry, the authors wanted to determine if some nurses or midwives were more prone to stay silent and if so why? Ty also wanted to further examine how  organizational silence impacted hospital operations. The authors found that employees’ age and level of education  determined their tendency for organizational silence. Employees, nurses in this case, remained silent on ethical issues or job responsibilities. Most of the responders in the study conducted said that they remained silent because they did not  think that they had the experience necessary to state their views. The authors suggest that hospitals create reporting systems where nurses can report any issues without fear of reprisal.

Article Analysis

In another paper published in 2015, Morrison et al found that individuals who had a low sense of power were more likely to remain silent on organizational issues or would not share their ideas with others. However the authors found that when encourage to speak employees would break their silence. A verbal encouragement to speak is not enough , therefore businesses should find ways to encourage upward communication among their employees. it is important that companies understand organizational silence. Kirrane et al (2017) argue that organizational silence can have either positive or negative impact on a business operations. the authors go a step further and recommend that managers consider the emotions behind employees silence. For example some employees when angry will voice their anger, whereas others will adopt a “defensive silent”.

Biblical Perspective

Today we live in a world where everything is permissible; bullying, profanity and sexual misconducts are now everyday occurrences. Obscenities and immoralities are the calling cards of our elected officials, parent, kids and everyday citizens. As Christians we re called to live in this world but not to be part of it. But is our silence too much? Are we allowing the devil to have dominance over us in the name of democracy and free speech? 2 Corinthians 4:4 and John 2:16, explains the importance of denouncing and removing ourselves from a corrupt value system.


This is an event hosted by the Arthur and Toni Rembe Rock Center for corporate governance. The two presenters discussed research findings showing that employees often scared of retaliation would not report serious misconducts or share their ideas on how to improve their organization.

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