Exploring the impacts of relationship on employees’ communicative behaviors during issue periods based on employee position

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to examine different communicative behaviors employees engage in according to their position level and the impacts of relationship they perceive. By comparing the behaviors and perceptions of low-, middle-, and high-level employees, the study investigates when and why employees become active in communicative behaviors about an organizational issue. Design/methodology/approach: A quantitative online survey was conducted with 412 full-time employees in medium- and large-sized corporations with more than 300 employees in the USA. Findings: Results show that those who are the most likely to be active not only in expressing ideas (i.e. voice) to solve an issue but also in forwarding positive information about their organization (i.e. megaphoning) are high-level employees. The findings also reveal distinct impacts of two types of relationship – communal and exchange relationship – on behaviors of employees in different positions. Research limitations/implications: The study extended the understanding of relational approach by exploring the consequences of two types of relationship in the context of employee relations, and filled the research gap on relationships and issue management studies in public relations from an internal perspective. Practical implications: To encourage employees to engage actively in positive megaphoning and voice during issue periods and to minimize the threats by reducing employees’ negative megaphoning behavior, the study suggested different relationship-building strategies based on employees’ position levels. Originality/value: The current work examined the distinct impacts of organization-employee relationships on employees’ internal and external communicative behaviors based on their position level within an organization, especially focusing on employees’ role as potential advocates or adversaries for an organization during periods of an organizational crisis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)542-555
Number of pages14
JournalCorporate Communications
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Employee behaviour
  • Internal communications
  • Relationship management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Industrial relations
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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