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Gossip in the workplace and the implications for HR management: A study of gossip and its relationship to employee cynicism

Kuo, CC, Chang, K, Quinton, S, Lu, CY and Lee, L 2015, 'Gossip in the workplace and the implications for HR management: A study of gossip and its relationship to employee cynicism' , International Journal of Human Resource Management, 26 (18) .

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Abstract

Gossip is a common phenomenon in the workplace and yet relatively little is understood about its influence to employees. This study adopts social information theory and social cognitive theory to interpret the diverse literature on gossip, and to develop and test hypotheses concerning some of the antecedents of gossip, with an aim of developing knowledge of the relationship between gossip and employee behaviour in the workplace. The study analysed survey data in a two stage process, from 362 employees across a range of industries in Taiwan. The findings revealed that job-related gossip predicted employee cynicism and mediated the relationship between psychological contract violation and cynicism, and that non-job-related gossip showed a similar but weaker effect to employee cynicism. The contribution made by this paper is of value to both the academic subject domain and managers in Human Resources. Firstly, we have identified two constructs of gossip, job related and non-job related gossip not previously reported and a validated scale has been created. Secondly, we have confirmed that these different constructs of gossip impact differently on employee behaviour and therefore HR managers should be cautious about gossip in the workplace, as it can cause cynical behaviour amongst employees.

Item Type: Article
Themes: Built and Human Environment
Health and Wellbeing
Schools: Schools > Salford Business School
Journal or Publication Title: International Journal of Human Resource Management
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 0958-5192
Related URLs:
Funders: National Science Council
Depositing User: Professor Kirk Chang
Date Deposited: 21 Oct 2014 13:00
Last Modified: 01 Apr 2016 00:38
URI: http://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/32948

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