Understanding Employee Silence in Chinese Organizations
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In every business organization, the employees put forward opinions, suggestions, and ideas based on their own knowledge and experience to augment efficiency and performance. Owing to some other reasons, the employees may at times resolve to conceal their true views and thoughts. The decision to hide their thoughts and views is referred to as employee silence. As in other organizations around the world, Chinese organizations have their share of employee silence which has in many ways contributed to low performance and output in organizational production. The thesis aims to deepen the understanding of employee silence and the reasons why most employees choose to remain silent. The study employs a thematic analysis in the evaluation of literature and other pieces of evidence about this topic. Primary data about employee silence are also collected through interviews in this research. Six participants working in different Chinese companies participated in the interview and provided critical answers to interview questions, constituting the basis of analysis in the findings. The findings indicate that employee silence of these participants has been influenced by fear, Chinese cultural values of absolute loyalty and respect to the superiors, and futility in the responses or actions desired. It is also found out that most participants are coerced to work silently out of the following concerns: fear of job losses, exclusions and fear of malicious responses from their superiors. These intrinsic and extrinsic factors force employees to remain silent. Employee silence creates a breakdown in effective communication which may result in conflicts. As such, it further leads to poor productivity of the employees and the organization at large.