Asia Pacific Journal of Management

, Volume 36, Issue 4, pp 1053–1077 | Cite as

Differential promotive voice–prohibitive voice relationships with employee performance: Power distance orientation as a moderator

  • Jun Song
  • Jibao Gu
  • Jianlin WuEmail author
  • Shuo Xu


Increased attention has been paid to research on the outcomes of voice. However, the existing findings on the relationship between voice and employee performance are inconclusive. To address the insufficient understanding of the voice–employee performance relationship, this study proposed a model that specifies the relationships between two types of voice (i.e., promotive and prohibitive) and employee performance along with the moderating role of power distance orientation. The results of the analysis of a sample in China that comprised 80 leaders and 431 employees showed an inverted U-shaped relationship between promotive voice and employee performance and a positive linear relationship between prohibitive voice and employee performance. Power distance orientation was found to significantly moderate the nonlinear and linear relationships. Specifically, the inverted U-shaped relationship was more pronounced, while the positive linear relationship was weaker among employees with high power distance orientation. Theoretical and practical implications of the findings are discussed, along with the limitations of this study and future research directions.


Promotive voice Prohibitive voice Employee performance Power distance orientation 



This research was supported by the National Social Science Foundation of China (No. 17BGL077).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflicting interests

The authors declared no potential conflicts of interest with respect to the research, authorship, and/or publication of this article.


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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.School of Business AdministrationNanjing University of Finance and EconomicsNanjingPeople’s Republic of China
  2. 2.School of ManagementUniversity of Science and Technology of ChinaHefeiPeople’s Republic of China
  3. 3.Changchun Institute of Applied Chemistry Chinese Academic of SciencesJilinChina

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