Structurational Divergence, Implicit Orientations to Active Followership, and Employees’ Selection of Upward Dissent Strategies and Silence

Alaina C. Zanin, Ryan S. Bisel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This study investigated dissent strategy selection as a product of structurational divergence (SD) and individuals’ lay theories of leader and follower roles. A survey of working adults (N = 338) revealed that employees who reported experiencing structurational divergence in their workplace were more likely to engage in circumvention, threatening resignation, and defensive silence. Analysis also indicated that employees with an active followership mindset were more likely to report engaging in prosocial and repetition dissent strategies. Meanwhile, they were less likely to report engaging in circumvention, threatening resignation, and defensive silence. Importantly, perceptions of SD were negatively associated with members’ implicit belief that a good follower is an active follower. Implications for structurational divergence theory, implicit theories of followership, and organizational dissent conclude the paper.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalManagement Communication Quarterly
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - 2022

Keywords

  • active followership
  • defensive silence
  • structurational divergence
  • upward dissent

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Strategy and Management

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