Why Didn’t You Tell Me? Voicing Concerns Over Objective Information About a Project’s Flaws

Dean A. Shepherd, Holger Patzelt, Christopher M. Berry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)


Innovation contributes to firm performance. An important task of effective innovation management is to terminate poorly performing projects and reallocate their resources to other, more promising projects. Despite the challenges of such a task, some actors quickly terminate flawed projects while others persist. To investigate decisions about a project’s flaws, we build on theoretical insights from the voice literature to offer a model of voicing concerns over a project’s flaws based on the amount of information available to project team members. We test the model using 3,760 decisions nested within 235 project team members from the research and development (R&D) departments of large firms operating in innovative industries. We find that more information about a project’s flaw increases project team members’ willingness to voice concerns and that this positive effect is stronger for project team members who believe that they have more open-minded supervisors and who themselves are more prosocially motivated. This theorizing and set of findings provides new insights into our understanding of facilitating voice in organizations and managing innovation and entrepreneurial projects.
Original languageEnglish
Peer-reviewed scientific journalJournal of Management
Issue number3
Pages (from-to)1087-1113
Number of pages27
Publication statusPublished - 2019
MoE publication typeA1 Journal article - refereed


  • 512 Business and Management
  • corporate venturing
  • entrepreneurial cognition/psychology
  • ntrepreneurial cognition/psychology
  • employee voice
  • entrepreneurship

Areas of Strength and Areas of High Potential (AoS and AoHP)

  • AoS: Leading for growth and well-being


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