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When whistling fades: (New) Theories for Understanding Organizational Silence
Linköping University, Department of Behavioural Sciences and Learning, Education, Teaching and Learning. Linköping University, Faculty of Educational Sciences.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7877-4669
2018 (English)Conference paper, Oral presentation only (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Freedom of expression and the ability to speak out about organizational matters are not only work related rights for employees, but have also been declared as important for organizational development by researchers as well as the organisations themselves. However, various constrains of these ideals can be expected and have been reported upon. As an example, recent literature inform of a widespread fear of retaliation among employees when expressing work related criticism. This paper suggests a (new) theoretical approach to understand why and when internal criticism becomes supressed within an institution. A vast body of research within this field has been theorized from an organizational and managerial perspective, while few studies have focused on theories of learning in relation to whistleblowing or organizational silence. Therefore, this paper aligns this approach and seeks to understand organisational silence through a learning perspective, by combining an approach that considers the performative aspects of discourse together with the theory of institutional storytelling and the concept noisy silence.

The paper sets out from a tension and discrepancy between the official policy and officers’ accounts of the conversational climate within a Swedish police district. Through empirical examples from data consisting of field studies and 33 interviews with police officers, this paper identifies and describes how employees draw upon and reproduce informal values that condition the conversational and working climate within the organization. In the long run, this restricts employees’ freedom of expression and action, such as reporting both internally and externally on various wrongdoings.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2018.
Keywords [en]
whistleblowing, police, silence, everyday talk
National Category
Social Sciences Sociology Educational Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-150336OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-150336DiVA, id: diva2:1239525
Conference
The Nordic Work Life Conference 2018. Oslo 13 – 15 June 2018
Available from: 2018-08-16 Created: 2018-08-16 Last updated: 2020-10-02Bibliographically approved

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Wieslander, Malin

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • oxford
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf