Getting along and getting ahead: voice trails of status pursuit

Nabila Khan, Lata Dyaram, Kantha Dayaram, John Burgess

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: Integrating individual and relational centric voice literature, the authors draw on self-presentation theory to analyse the role of status pursuit in employee voice. Status pursuit is believed to be ubiquitous as it is linked to access to scarce resources and social order pecking. Design/methodology/approach: The authors present a cross-level conceptual model outlining relational nuances of employee status pursuit that drive upward voice. Findings: The model integrates status pursuit with peer- and leader-related facets, focusing on three targets of voice: immediate leader (supervisor), diagonal leader (supervisor of another team/unit) and co-workers. The model highlights how employee voice can be directed to diverse targets, and depending on interpersonal attributes, how it serves as underlying links for upward voice. Originality/value: While employee voice can help to address important workplace concerns, it can also be used to advance employees' self-interest. Though there is a wealth of research on the importance of employee voice to organisational performance and individual wellbeing, especially through collective representation such as trade unions, there is a lack of literature on how employees navigate the social-relational work setting to promote their interests and develop status.

Original languageEnglish
JournalPersonnel Review
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • Diagonal leader–leader exchange
  • Employee diagonal voice
  • Employee peer voice
  • Employee upward voice
  • Psychological proximity
  • Status pursuit
  • Voice trails


Dive into the research topics of 'Getting along and getting ahead: voice trails of status pursuit'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this