Winni Johansen and Vibeke Thøis Madsen win an Emerald Literati Outstanding Paper Award

The article 'A spiral of voice? When employees speak up on internal social media' has been selected as an Outstanding Paper in the 2020 Emerald Literati Awards.

2020.11.30 | Merete Elmann

Winni Johansen from Department of Management, Aarhus University, and Vibeke Thøis Madsen, PhD from Aarhus University and now employed at DMJX (Danish School of Media and Journalism), have won the prestigious outstanding paper award for their article 'A spiral of voice? When employees speak up on internal social media'.

The paper explores the discursive tactics that employees use when they speak up on internal social media (ISM) to gain support for their cause, and how this can develop into a ‘spiral of voice’ when organisational members interact with each other on ISM.

Case studies conducted at Jyske Bank show that employees succeed in speaking up and gaining support on ISM by using different discursive tactics that helped move organisational issues from an operational to a strategic level, making the issues relevant for management as well as gaining the support of co-workers. Organisations need to be aware of the dynamics of the “spiral of voice” and of the way in which the visibility and persistence of communication on ISM forces managers to react and answer questions from the employees.

In organisations where management is receptive to employee voice, the spiral of voice can contribute to an open communication culture and may lead to a more robust organisation.

This study is the first to explore what happens when employees speak up on ISM and to propose the concept of “a spiral of voice” as an extension of the theory of “the spiral of silence”(Noelle-Neumann, 1974).

The editorial team from Emerald Literati Awards state that this article is one of the most exceptional pieces of work they have seen throughout 2019 in Journal of Communication Management.

The article can be downloaded for free for the next 12 months at