Much is currently expected from what PR campaigns involving social media can
accomplish with regard to strengthening employee voice. Previous research on voice
as a specific approach to employee relations has primarily relied on the effects and
mechanisms of voice. There is scant research dealing with the processes and practices
of employee voice. This article outlines a performative approach to conceptualizing
the practice of employee voice. It focuses on how employees perform voice in a PR
campaign involving Instagram takeover. The campaign was launched by a complex
organization in Scandinavia, aimed at countering negative attention in local news media and improving the reputation of the organization. This article analyses the conditions of voicing concerns in the campaign through the lens of a dramaturgical approach to social life.
First, the findings indicate that voicing is a form of individual and collective
performance through which the meaning of work and the campaign are negotiated in
relation to both other participants and an imagined audience.
Second, visual conventions and organizational culture were found to govern performances of voice on Instagram.
Third, findings underscore the need to understand employee voice as a socially and
culturally embedded practice.
- Employee voice, Instagram takeover, organizational image, performance, practice, voicing