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Investigating voice in action teams: a critical review


Krenz, Hanna L; Burtscher, Michael J (2020). Investigating voice in action teams: a critical review. Cognition, Technology and Work:Epub ahead print.

Abstract

Team communication is considered a key factor for team performance. Importantly, voicing concerns and suggestions regarding work-related topics—also termed speaking up—represents an essential part of team communication. Particularly in action teams in high-reliability organizations such as healthcare, military, or aviation, voice is crucial for error prevention. Although research on voice has become more important recently, there are inconsistencies in the literature. This includes methodological issues, such as how voice should be measured in different team contexts, and conceptual issues, such as uncertainty regarding the role of the voice recipient. We tried to address these issues of voice research in action teams in the current literature review. We identified 26 quantitative empirical studies that measured voice as a distinct construct. Results showed that only two-thirds of the articles provided a definition for voice. Voice was assessed via behavioral observation or via self-report. Behavioral observation includes two main approaches (i.e., event-focused and language-focused) that are methodologically consistent. In contrast, studies using self-reports showed significant methodological inconsistencies regarding measurement instruments (i.e., self-constructed single items versus validated scales). The contents of instruments that assessed voice via self-report varied considerably. The recipient of voice was poorly operationalized (i.e., discrepancy between definitions and measurements). In sum, our findings provide a comprehensive overview of how voice is treated in action teams. There seems to be no common understanding of what constitutes voice in action teams, which is associated with several conceptual as well as methodological issues. This suggests that a stronger consensus is needed to improve validity and comparability of research findings.

Abstract

Team communication is considered a key factor for team performance. Importantly, voicing concerns and suggestions regarding work-related topics—also termed speaking up—represents an essential part of team communication. Particularly in action teams in high-reliability organizations such as healthcare, military, or aviation, voice is crucial for error prevention. Although research on voice has become more important recently, there are inconsistencies in the literature. This includes methodological issues, such as how voice should be measured in different team contexts, and conceptual issues, such as uncertainty regarding the role of the voice recipient. We tried to address these issues of voice research in action teams in the current literature review. We identified 26 quantitative empirical studies that measured voice as a distinct construct. Results showed that only two-thirds of the articles provided a definition for voice. Voice was assessed via behavioral observation or via self-report. Behavioral observation includes two main approaches (i.e., event-focused and language-focused) that are methodologically consistent. In contrast, studies using self-reports showed significant methodological inconsistencies regarding measurement instruments (i.e., self-constructed single items versus validated scales). The contents of instruments that assessed voice via self-report varied considerably. The recipient of voice was poorly operationalized (i.e., discrepancy between definitions and measurements). In sum, our findings provide a comprehensive overview of how voice is treated in action teams. There seems to be no common understanding of what constitutes voice in action teams, which is associated with several conceptual as well as methodological issues. This suggests that a stronger consensus is needed to improve validity and comparability of research findings.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, further contribution
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
Dewey Decimal Classification:150 Psychology
Scopus Subject Areas:Social Sciences & Humanities > Philosophy
Physical Sciences > Human-Computer Interaction
Physical Sciences > Computer Science Applications
Uncontrolled Keywords:Philosophy, Human-Computer Interaction, Computer Science Applications
Language:English
Date:5 August 2020
Deposited On:14 Dec 2020 16:02
Last Modified:28 Jan 2021 21:27
Publisher:Springer
ISSN:1435-5566
OA Status:Hybrid
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1007/s10111-020-00646-9

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