PhD Thesis Title: An examination of the shifting contours of employee voice in the Irish banking sector: A case analysis from the period of economic buoyancy, to financial crisis through to economic recovery
Supervisor: Professor John Geary
Professor Chris Rees, University of London
Loredana’s thesis accounted for the shifting contours of employee voice in the Irish banking sector from the period of economic buoyancy, to the economic recession of 2008 and through to economic recovery, up to 2018. It used an employment relations framework which accounted for the strategic action of all actors in the employment relationship (i.e. management, trade unions and employees), as developed within a complex multi-level and multi-faceted vertical and horizontal organizational context. This in-depth investigation allowed the researcher to systematically uncover and explain the mechanisms which shape employee voice during different time periods and contexts and thus, to confirm, challenge or extend the existing theoretical frameworks. The findings suggest that the existing literature is not well equipped to explain the intrinsically complex and constantly changing reality of employee voice. The shape and reach of employee voice in different time periods is impacted by a specific configuration of structural forces (such as the economic context, the product and labour market, technology and financial capitalism) and the actions of all actors in the employment relationship, albeit not in an equal way. Employee silence, a newer concept in the employment relations literature, emerged as important in understanding employee voice. Such findings contribute to recent calls among academic scholars to theoretically understand employee voice by integrating both the macro and micro or system and behavioural perspective on voice through adopting an employment relations/ human resource management and organisational behaviour lens of analysis.