In this paper, I reconceptualize organizational dissent as the expression of disagreements and contradictory opinions that result from the experience of feeling apart from one's organization. Employees experience dissent when they recognize incongruence between actual and desired states of affairs. The theory of unobtrusive control (Tompkins & Cheney, 1985), the theory of independent-mindedness (Garden & Infante, 1987; Infante & Gorden, 1987), and the Exit-Voice-Loyalty model of employee responses to dissatisfaction (Hirschman, 1970) provide the framework for a model of employee dissent. The proposed model incorporates four elements: (a) triggering agent; (b) strategy selection influences; (c) strategy selection; and (d) expressed dissent. Examining variations in employees’ expressions of dissent may contribute to our understanding of employee involvement practices, democratic organizational structures, and employee empowerment efforts.
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