Organizational ethical climate, perceived organizational support, and employee silence: A cross-level investigation

Yau De Wang*, Hui Hsien Hsieh

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

122 Citations (Scopus)


This article reports on a study investigating the cross-level relationships of organizational ethical climate on employee silence. Using a sample of 408 full-time employees from 24 high-technology firms in Taiwan, the study conducted multilevel analyses to examine its hypotheses. The results showed that instrumental climate - one type of organizational ethical climate - had a positive association with acquiescent silence, but not with defensive silence. Another two types of organizational ethical climate - caring climate and independence climate - had a negative association with both acquiescent silence and defensive silence. Rules climate and the law and code climate, the remaining types of organizational ethical climate, were not associated with either the acquiescent silence or the defensive silence. The results also showed that the associations of the instrumental climate, caring climate, and independence climate with acquiescent silence and defensive silence are mediated by the perceived organizational support - an individual-level variable. Implications for management and future research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)783-802
Number of pages20
JournalHuman Relations
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - 2013 Jun
Externally publishedYes


  • acquiescent silence
  • defensive silence
  • employee silence
  • ethical climate
  • multilevel analysis
  • perceived organizational support

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • General Social Sciences
  • Strategy and Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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