Negative core affect and employee silence: How differences in activation, cognitive rumination, and problem-solving demands matter

Hector P. Madrid, Malcolm G. Patterson, Pedro I. Leiva

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

45 Scopus citations

Abstract

Employees can help to improve organizational performance by sharing ideas, suggestions, or concerns about practices, but sometimes they keep silent because of the experience of negative affect. Drawing and expanding on this stream of research, this article builds a theoretical rationale based on core affect and cognitive appraisal theories to describe how differences in affect activation and boundary conditions associated with cognitive rumination and cognitive problem-solving demands can explain employee silence. Results of a diary study conducted with professionals from diverse organizations indicated that within-person low-activated negative core affect increased employee silence when, as an invariant factor, cognitive rumination was high. Furthermore, within-person high-activated negative core affect decreased employee silence when, as an invariant factor, cognitive problem-solving demand was high. Thus, organizations should manage conditions to reduce experiences of low-activated negative core affect because these feelings increase silence in individuals high in rumination. In turn, effective management of experiences of high-activated negative core affect can reduce silence for individuals working under high problem-solving demand situations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1887-1898
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Applied Psychology
Volume100
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2015

Keywords

  • Cognitive appraisal
  • Cognitive problem-solving demands
  • Core affect
  • Employee silence
  • Rumination

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Negative core affect and employee silence: How differences in activation, cognitive rumination, and problem-solving demands matter'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this