Going around the boss: Exploring the consequences of circumvention

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38 Scopus citations


This study explores outcomes associated with circumvention (i.e., dissenting by going around or above one's supervisor). Employees completed a survey instrument in which they provided a dissent account detailing a time when they practiced circumvention. Several, themes regarding relational and organizational outcomes emerged from an interpretive analysis of the data. Circumvention resulted predominantly in relational deterioration with one's supervisor, but in many cases it led to neutrality, compromise, relationship development, and understanding. Although organizational-level outcomes most often produce results that are favorable for dissenters, they also include triggering agent sanctions, organizational improvement, absence of corrective action, and disadvantageous outcomes for the dissenter.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)55-74
Number of pages20
JournalManagement Communication Quarterly
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2007


  • Employee dissent
  • Employee voice
  • Superior-subordinate communication
  • Upward dissent
  • Upward influence

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Strategy and Management


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