A social network analysis of positive and negative gossip in organizational life

Travis J. Grosser, Virginie Lopez-Kidwell, Giuseppe Labianca

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

211 Scopus citations

Abstract

The authors use social network analysis to understand how employees' propensity to engage in positive and negative gossip is driven by their underlying relationship ties. They find that expressive friendship ties between employees are positively related to engaging in both positive and negative gossip, whereas instrumental workflow ties, which are less trusting than friendship ties, are related solely with positive gossip. The authors also find that structural embeddedness in the friendship network further increases the chance that the pair will engage in negative gossip. Finally, an employee's total gossiping activity (both positive and negative) is negatively related to supervisors' evaluations of the employee's performance, whereas total gossip activity is positively related to peers' evaluations of the employee's informal influence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)177-212
Number of pages36
JournalGroup and Organization Management
Volume35
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 2010

Keywords

  • Gossip
  • Social networks
  • Structural embeddedness

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Applied Psychology
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management

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