Employee Voice Systems

Mick Marchington

in The Oxford Handbook of Human Resource Management

Published in print June 2008 | ISBN: 9780199547029
Published online September 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780191577390 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Business and Management C

Employee Voice Systems

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  • Human Resource Management
  • Organizational Theory and Behaviour


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Employee voice appears to be the latest in a long line of terms used to describe employment practices designed to allow workers some ‘say’ in how their organizations are run; previous variants include worker participation, industrial democracy, employee involvement, and empowerment. The term is rarely defined precisely, and voice tends to incorporate HR practices of both a direct and an indirect form, in unionized and non-union settings, and in task-related and off-line teams. This article first develops a framework within which different forms of voice can be considered. Second, it discusses links between embedded voice and worker perceptions, focusing on the use of multiple and ‘deep’ techniques. Third, it analyzes a number of factors promoting or impeding voice at national, organizational, and workplace levels, in so doing noting the tensions surrounding the concept. Finally, some conclusions are drawn.

Keywords: employee voice; employment practices; employee involvement; HR practices; embedded voice; worker perceptions; deep techniques

Article.  8411 words. 

Subjects: Human Resource Management ; Organizational Theory and Behaviour

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