Sounds of Silence: The Reflexivity, Self-decentralization, and Transformation Dimensions of Silence at Work

Vu, Mai Chi and Fan, Ziyun (2021) Sounds of Silence: The Reflexivity, Self-decentralization, and Transformation Dimensions of Silence at Work. Journal of Management Inquiry. ISSN 1056-4926 (In Press)

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Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1177/10564926211007942

Abstract

This article explores silence as a phenomenon and practice in the workplace through a Buddhist-enacted lens where silence is intentionally encouraged. It brings forward a reconsideration of the roles of silence in organizations by proposing emancipatory dimensions of silence—reflexivity, self-decentralization, and transformation. Based on 54 interviews with employees and managers in a Vietnamese telecommunications organization, we discuss the dynamic nature of silence, and the possible coexistence of the constructive and the oppressive aspects of silence in a workplace spirituality context. Instead of studying silence as one-dimensional, we call for an integrated view and argue that studying silence requires consideration of the multiplicity of its interconnected dimensions. By considering silence as a relational and emerging processes constructed around its vagueness and uncertainties, our study reveals the many possible ways silence is organized and organizes and sheds light on silence as a marker of the complexities and paradoxes of organizational life.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: qualitative research, organizational behavior, communication
Subjects: N100 Business studies
N200 Management studies
Department: Faculties > Business and Law > Newcastle Business School
Depositing User: Elena Carlaw
Date Deposited: 23 Mar 2021 15:43
Last Modified: 31 Jul 2021 10:48
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/45770

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