Writing in the Academy of Management Review, Clemente and Roulet (2015) deal with the 'spiral of silence', which explains how public opinion is formed. Individuals avoid expressing views publicly that they think are marginalised. As a result, 

members of a minority ae less likely to express their opinion, while members of a majority are more likely to express theirs. These dynamics lead to the emergence of a dominant opinion.
— Clement & Roulet (2015:101)

Clemente, M., and Roulet, T. J.  (2015) Public opinion as a source of deinstitutionalisation: A 'spiral of silence approach', Academy of Management Review, Vol. 40, No. 1, 96–114.