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Are we truly wicked when gossiping at work? The role of valence, interpersonal closeness and social awareness

Tassiello, V and Lombardi, S and Costabile, M (2017) Are we truly wicked when gossiping at work? The role of valence, interpersonal closeness and social awareness. Journal of Business Research, 84. pp. 141-149. ISSN 0148-2963

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Abstract

This paper questions the belief that gossip is always damaging and that people are more interested in negative than in positive information about others. Starting from this, we seek to understand whether a certain valenced gossip (positive vs. negative and malicious vs. non-malicious) is more likely to be spread in the workplace. We test this relationship through three experimental studies by considering the moderating effect of the social linkages among the actors involved in the gossip. We found that positive and non-malicious gossip are more likely to be shared with co-workers especially when the gossip object belongs to the receiver's social group and when the gossiper reckons that the receiver may verify the news heard. We interpret these results with the lens of impression management, in that people transmit certain gossip to their co-workers with the aim of gaining social status and reputation within their organization, fostering their social bonds.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: MD Multidisciplinary
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
H Social Sciences > HF Commerce > HF5001 Business
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Divisions: Liverpool Business School
Publisher: Elsevier
Date Deposited: 22 Nov 2017 10:44
Last Modified: 22 Nov 2017 10:44
DOI or Identification number: 10.1016/j.jbusres.2017.11.013
URI: http://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/7581

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