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korean management review - Vol. 50, No. 2

[ Article ]
korean management review - Vol. 50, No. 2, pp.405-437
Abbreviation: kmr
ISSN: 1226-1874 (Print)
Print publication date 30 Apr 2021
Received 13 Oct 2020 Accepted 15 Dec 2020

When Silence is Golden: The Effects of Prosocial Silence on Generalized Self-Efficacy and Leader-Member Exchange
Jeehye Park ; Min Jeong Kim ; Hongseok Oh
(First Author) Yonsei Business Research Institute (
(Corresponding Author) College of Business Administration, Chonnam National University (
(Co-Author) School of Business at Yonsei University (

침묵이 금일 때: 친사회적 침묵행동이 자기효능감 및 리더-구성원 교환관계에 미치는 영향 연구

This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License 4.0, which permits unrestricted, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Funding Information ▼


Employee silence is an important element of social interaction that has a proactive nature with an intent and purpose. Nevertheless, the prevailing view was that silence is a problematic behavior which undermines the performance of organization and its members. Whereas previous research tends to emphasize the negative effects, this study explores the positive aspects of employee silence. Focusing on prosocial silence which is aimed at protecting or benefiting peers, supervisors, or organizations by withholding information, the first purpose of this study is to investigate its effects on generalized self-efficacy and the quality of LMX. Further, this study suggests the agreeableness and honesty-humility as personality moderators intervening in these relationships and seeks to explain who can bring out stronger positive effect through prosocial silence. From the data analysis of 246 members in 27 organizations, results showed that prosocial silence had a positive effect on the quality of LMX. However, its effect on generalized self-efficacy was not significant. In addition, the hypotheses on the moderating effects of agreeableness between prosocial silence and two dependent variables were supported. Unlike the expectation, the moderating effect of honesty-humility was significant only for LMX, in the opposite direction.

Keywords: Prosocial Silence, Generalized Self-Efficacy, LMX, Agreeableness, Honesty-Humility


This work was supported by the Ministry of Education of the Republic of Korea and the National Research Foundation of Korea(NRF-2019S1A5B5A07111888).

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∙The author Jeehye Park is a researcher at Yonsei Business Research Institute and a lecturer at Korea National University of Transportation. She received her B.A. in Psychology, M.A. and Ph.D. in Business Administration from Yonsei University. Her research areas include social networks, leadership, diversity, and personality. Her research also focuses on employee voice and silence.

∙The author Min Jeong Kim is a Professor of Organizational Behavior in the College of Business Administration at Chonnam National University. She received her Ph.D. from Ewha Womans University, majoring Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management. Her research interests include intra-organizational social networks, mentoring, personality, and cognitive accuracy in network perception.

∙The author Hongseok Oh is a Professor of Organizational Behavior in the School of Business at Yonsei University. He received his Ph.D. from The Pennsylvania State University. His research focuses on the antecedents and consequences of intra- and interorganizational networks, network change, groups, and organizational control. He has been published in Administrative Science Quarterly, Academy of Management Review, Academy of Management Journal, and Journal of Applied Psychology.