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Acta Psychologica Sinica    2019, Vol. 51 Issue (12) : 1375-1385     DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1041.2019.01375
Reports of Empirical Studies |
The divergent effects of work stress on constructive voice and defensive voice: A cross-level of moderated mediation model
LU Hong-Xu1,ZHOU Fan2,WU Ting3,YAN Jin2(),SHAO Yan4,LIU Yan-Bin1
1 School of Business, Ningbo Institute of Technology, Zhejiang University, Ningbo 315100, China
2 School of Management, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310058, China
3 School of Business, Zhejiang University City College, Hangzhou 310015, China
4 Amsterdam Business School, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam 1018 TV, The Netherlands
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Abstract  

Previous studies have mainly considered voice as a behavior with constructive intention for the organization. However, such studies have failed to recognize that voice can be an important means for individuals to achieve their own instrumental goals. Among the few studies that have examined the instrumentality of voice behavior, little attention has been paid to distinguishing between the types of voice behavior motivated by instrumental goals, leading to an incomplete understanding of the instrumental side of the behavior. Hence, this study attempts to broaden our understanding of different voice behaviors as a means of satisfying different instrumental goals in pressure situations.
Specifically, based on conservation of resources theory, we suggest that high work pressure indicates threats, increasing individuals’ motivation to conserve resources and thus leading to more defensive voice. In contrast, when work pressure is low, the environment is likely to be perceived as benign, motivating the expression of constructive voice. Importantly, we highlight the role of leader openness as an important boundary condition. Leader openness signals that voice behavior is encouraged and valued, leading to positive expectations for employees to maintain or acquire resources through such behavior, which further motivates that behavior. In contrast, when leaders turn a blind eye to their employees’ voice, employees perceive that their suggestion behavior cannot help them achieve their instrumental goals, and they thus stay silent about work-related issues. Taken together, we suggest that work pressure leads to more defensive voice and less constructive voice, especially when leader openness is high.
To test our conceptual model, we conducted a one-month time-lagged study among 386 employees from 50 teams at a construction site. We found that although employees’ perceptions of work stress significantly decreased constructive voice, they also increased defensive voice. Ego depletion mediated the effects of work stress on these two types of voice behavior. Moreover, the results showed that group-level leader openness significantly reinforced the negative relationship between work stress and constructive voice, as well as the negative indirect effect of work pressure on constructive voice through ego depletion. However, the moderating effect of leader openness was not observed when testing the direct and indirect effects of work pressure on defensive voice.
This study makes three main contributions to the literature. First, responding to researchers’ recommendations in recent years, the study investigated the mechanisms of different types of voice behaviors. Second, the study drew on conservation of resources theory to explain the effects of work stress on voice behavior, enhancing our understanding of why people engage in certain types of voice behavior in response to work stress. Finally, the study highlights leader openness as an important boundary condition, clarifying when work stress is more likely or less likely to lead to different voice behaviors.

Keywords work stress      ego depletion      constructive voice      defensive voice      leader openness     
ZTFLH:  B849: C93  
Corresponding Authors: Jin YAN     E-mail: yanjin@zju.edu.cn
Issue Date: 21 October 2019
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Hong-Xu LU
Fan ZHOU
Ting WU
Jin YAN
Yan SHAO
Yan-Bin LIU
Cite this article:   
Hong-Xu LU,Fan ZHOU,Ting WU, et al. The divergent effects of work stress on constructive voice and defensive voice: A cross-level of moderated mediation model[J]. Acta Psychologica Sinica, 2019, 51(12): 1375-1385.
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http://journal.psych.ac.cn/xlxb/EN/10.3724/SP.J.1041.2019.01375     OR     http://journal.psych.ac.cn/xlxb/EN/Y2019/V51/I12/1375
  
模型 c2 df c2/df CFI TLI RMSEA SRMR
五因子模型 230.11 199 1.16 0.99 0.99 0.02 0.04
四因子模型:合并因变量 892.13 203 4.39 0.78 0.78 0.09 0.11
三因子模型:合并因变量、调节变量 1124.53 206 5.45 0.74 0.74 0.11 0.13
二因子模型:合并中介变量、调节变量、因变量 1979.75 208 9.52 0.50 0.45 0.15 0.15
单因子模型:合并所有研究变量 2588.20 209 12.38 0.33 0.26 0.17 0.17
  
变量 均值 标准差 1 2 3 4 5
1. 工作压力 3.88 0.77 (0.86)
2. 自我损耗 3.89 0.81 0.19** (0.90)
3. 建设型建言 3.98 0.86 -0.12* -0.28** (0.90)
4. 防御型建言 3.71 0.73 0.11* 0.21** 0.08 (0.84)
5. 领导开明性 4.03 0.79 0.11* 0.02 0.01 0.04 (0.73)
  
变量 模型 1 模型2 模型3
建设型建言 防御型建言 自我损耗 建设型建言 防御型建言
直接效应
工作压力 -0.14* 0.11* 0.20** -0.08 0.07
自我损耗 -0.28** 0.17**
间接效应 间接效应的95%置信区间
工作压力 → 自我损耗 → 建设型建言 -0.06 [-0.090, -0.023]
工作压力 → 自我损耗 → 防御型建言 0.03 [0.010, 0.065]
Monte Carlo模拟 95%置信区间, 20, 000次抽样
工作压力 → 自我损耗 → 建设型建言 [-0.094, -0.022]
工作压力 → 自我损耗 → 防御型建言 [0.009, 0.067]
  
分组统计 效应
(PMX-W)
总效应
(PMX)
间接效应
95%置信区间
工作压力(X)→自我损耗(M)→建设型建言(Y1)
低领导开明性(-1 标准差) -0.36* -0.02 [-0.207, 0.172]
高领导开明性(+1 标准差) -0.37** [-0.577, -0.157]
高低位差异 -0.35* [-0.640, -0.059]
工作压力(X)→自我损耗(M)→防御型建言(Y2)
低领导开明性(-1 标准差) -0.01 0.24* [0.044, 0.434]
高领导开明性(+1 标准差) 0.23** [0.059, 0.401]
高低位差异 -0.01 [-0.270, 0.252]
  
  
因变量 调节变量
领导开明性
阶段 间接效应
效应1
(PMX)
效应2
(PYM)
间接效应
(PMX * PYM)
95%置信区间
建设型建言 低位 (-1标准差) 0.30** -0.02 -0.01 [-0.063, 0.052]
高位 (+1标准差) -0.37** -0.11** [-0.181, -0.041]
高低位差异 -0.35* -0.10* [-0.201, -0.011]
防御型建言 低位 (-1标准差) 0.30** 0.24* 0.07* [0.004, 0.141]
高位 (+1标准差) 0.23** 0.07* [0.006, 0.134]
高低位差异 -0.01 -0.00 [-0.082, 0.076]
  
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