On not blowing the whistle: quiescent silence as an emotion episode

John Blenkinsopp, Marissa Edwards

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

29 Citations (Scopus)


The growth of research into whistle-blowing has produced some compelling insights into this important organizational phenomenon, but a number of areas remain under-explored, particularly the role of emotion and our understanding of the far more common response to wrongdoing, namely inaction. In this chapter we seek to problematize current conceptualizations of whistle-blowing and wrongdoing, as a basis for examining employee silence in the face of wrongdoing. We suggest that quiescent silence can be viewed as an emotion episode, and draw upon the feedback theory and the sensemaking paradigm to develop this proposition, illustrated through an analysis of accounts of quiescent silence in a clinical setting. We propose a new concept of “cues for inaction” which offers insights into the way quiescent silence arises and persists.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEmotions, Ethics and Decision-Making
EditorsNeal M. Ashkanasy, Wilfred J. Zerbe, Charmine E. Härtel
PublisherEmerald Group Publishing Ltd
ISBN (Print)978-1-84663-940-1
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2008

Publication series

NameResearch on Emotion in Organizations


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