Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Organizational leadership awareness of the hierarchical mum effect: A modified Delphi study
by Beakley, Jeremy, D.M., University of Phoenix, 2015, 206; 3730825
Abstract (Summary)

The hierarchical mum effect is a phenomenon found in the workplace which represents a subordinate’s unwillingness to communicate bad news to a supervisor out of fear of retribution, fear of association with the message itself, or fear of harming the subordinate-supervisor relationship. Prior to this study, sparse literature existed which identified the subordinate and supervisor factors which foster a mum environment. Moreover, even less literature existed which explored organizational leadership’s awareness of the hierarchical mum effect. The purpose of this study was to identify organizational leadership awareness of the hierarchical mum effect, the contributing leadership qualities that foster a mum environment, and the impact of the phenomenon on team performance. This modified Delphi study used two rounds of data collection to elicit the opinions of a 24 member panel consisting of human resources and management professionals to identify the most likely factors of the mum effect and organizational leadership’s awareness of those factors. Participant first round, qualitative responses, were further explored in the second round via a 1-5 point Likert scale to identify the most important factors which foster a mum environment and to identify the disparity of upper-management’s awareness of those factors. Very high disparities (+) were identified as upper-management awareness of factors greater than one point from the mean awareness of factors. The greatest disparities between factors fostering a mum environment and upper-management awareness are found among subordinate fear of consequences, supervisor’s ego being non-conducive to feedback, the lack of subordinate-supervisor trust, and supervisors who are nonresponsive to employee communication.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Hall, Elmer
School: University of Phoenix
School Location: United States -- Arizona
Source: DAI-A 77/03(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Social psychology, Management, Organizational behavior
Keywords: Awaremess, Hierarchical mum effect, Leadership, Mum effect, Whistle blowing
Publication Number: 3730825
ISBN: 978-1-339-17161-6
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