Organisational voice and employee-focused voice: Two distinct voice forms and their effects on burnout and innovative behaviour

Helen Shipton*, Nadia Kougiannou, Hoa Do, Amirali Minbashian, Nik Pautz, Daniel King

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Scholars and practitioners have long emphasised the importance of employees speaking up about workplace issues. Yet, voice research remains divided on fundamental questions such as underlying purpose. Drawing on the Job Demands-Resources Model, this study offers an integrative perspective, building on the idea that the interests of employees and managers are distinct concerning the purpose of voice. This article draws on responses from a cross-sectional national online survey distributed by YouGov, with a survey design that ensured that only those employed within an organisational setting with a reporting structure would be included in the data. The sample size used for the analysis (N = 1858) was representative of the UK workforce regarding gender, full- or part-time work status, organisation size and industry. The exploratory and confirmatory factor analysis provides empirical evidence of two alternative and distinct voice forms: organisational and employee-focused. Results show that while organisational voice is associated with significantly higher innovative behaviour and higher levels of burnout, employee-focused voice is significantly and negatively associated with employee burnout. Lastly, our analysis reveals that while the total effect of organisational voice on burnout is positive, employee-focused voice, partially mediating the organisational voice-burnout relationship, exerts a countervailing effect, lowering burnout. Accordingly, organisations are advised to promote both voice forms, given their unique, positive effects, first on the employee (ameliorating burnout) and second on strategically important outcomes (innovative behaviours). Implications for theory and practice are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages20
JournalHuman Resource Management Journal
Early online date19 May 2023
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 19 May 2023

Bibliographical note

Copyright © 2023, The Authors. Human Resource Management Journal published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd.This is an open access article under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs License (, which permits use and distribution in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non-commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made.


  • innovative behaviours
  • employee voice
  • job demands‐resources model
  • burnout


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