Employee voice, supervisor support, and engagement: the mediating role of trust

Peter Holland, Brian Cooper, Cathy Sheehan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

116 Citations (Scopus)


Developing employee engagement has been one of the major areas of interest in the field of human resource management (HRM), and research identifies the positive effect that engagement has on both employee and organizational performance. However, while research on engagement has been substantial, there have been limited studies on key variables such as supervisor support, voice, and trust. We examined the role of supervisor support and direct voice on engagement experienced by nurses and the mediating role trust plays in those relationships. Data were collected though an online survey of 1,039 Australian nurses and analyzed using structural equation modeling. As hypothesized, results showed that both supervisor support and direct voice are positively associated with employee engagement, and these relationships are mediated by supervisory and senior management trust, respectively. The implications of the results for human resource (HR) practitioners are discussed and include the challenge of resourcing effective direct voice systems and enlisting the support of supervisors in order to impact on the engagement of nurses who are the "front line" of the health sector.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)915-929
Number of pages15
JournalHuman Resource Management
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2017


  • Employee engagement
  • Employee voice
  • Human resource management
  • Line management
  • Nurses
  • Senior management
  • Trust

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