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Irish Institutes of Technology in a Time of Change: A Small-scale Exploratory Qualitative Study Examining the Self-censorship of Pro-organisational Employee Voice in a Temporal Context

O'Sullivan, Timothy (2017) Irish Institutes of Technology in a Time of Change: A Small-scale Exploratory Qualitative Study Examining the Self-censorship of Pro-organisational Employee Voice in a Temporal Context. EdD thesis, University of Sheffield.

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Upward communication of employee voice concerning suggestions and ideas is essential for success and learning within contemporary organisations. Research has identified that implicit responses by employees stifle voice, including pro-organisational change ideas, resulting in the loss of valuable organisational knowledge. The post-2008 Irish recession created an unprecedented period of change in the Irish higher education system. A document commonly known as the “Hunt Report” was introduced as the blueprint for proposed policy changes. This and subsequent policy documents in 2011/12 proposed substantial reform, requesting lecturers in Irish Institutes of Technology (IOTs) to engage in dialogue within their institutions and suggest how to consolidate the sector in a time-bound manner. This thesis examines the extent to which the self-censorship of pro-organisational voice by IOT lecturers is a consequence of current lived experiences and context. This small-scale exploratory qualitative study interviewed eight lecturers in IOTs during the consultation phase utilising a semi-structured interview process. Data was analysed utilising a thematic analysis approach. It employed implicit voice theories (IVTs) as a conceptual framework and a time and context sensitive lens of enquiry designed to enhance understanding. Lecturers reported cautiousness and silence due to underlying perceptions of negative consequences relating to voicing. This outcome is broadly predicted by IVT, yet notably an anomaly concerning voice pertaining to student welfare is highlighted. Lecturer discourse emphasises a deficiency in trust between themselves and management in addition to reporting feelings of despondency, fear and distance from the change process. Findings reflect challenges for organisational learning, change transition and development in the IOT sector and recommend the reinforcement of mutual trust-building initiatives amongst lecturers and management. These research findings contribute contemporary insights and understanding concerning latent voice and silence in Irish IOT settings and provide enhanced knowledge and awareness to those wishing to bring about practitioner-informed change.

Item Type: Thesis (EdD)
Keywords: Organisational change, leadership, Self-censorship of pro-organisational voice, implicit voice theories,Irish Institutes of Technology, Educational policy
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Social Sciences (Sheffield) > School of Education (Sheffield)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.729516
Depositing User: Dr Timothy O'Sullivan
Date Deposited: 18 Dec 2017 09:43
Last Modified: 12 Oct 2018 09:49
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/19001

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