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Talking About the Boss: Effects of Generalized and Interpersonal Trust on Workplace Gossip.


Ellwardt, L., R. Wittek, R. Wielers (2012). Talking About the Boss: Effects of Generalized and Interpersonal Trust on Workplace Gossip. Group and Organization Management 37 (4): 519 - 547

Best Journal Paper Award 2012
Group and Organization Management

This study developed and tested a relational theory of positive and negative gossip about managers. It is argued that spreading information about managers depends on trust in organizations, more specifically the employees’ generalized and interpersonal trust in managers and colleagues. Hypotheses were tested by conducting two studies in a medium-sized Dutch child care organization, namely, an employee survey (N = 132) and a network study at two sites (N = 58). Multiple regressions and cross-sectional social network analysis (exponential random graph modeling [ERGM]) revealed that negative gossip about managers increases when employees have low trust, nonfriendly relationships, and infrequent contact with the managers. This effect is further enhanced when contacts between employees are trusting and frequent. Implications for theories about management and organizations are discussed.


http://gom.sagepub.com/content/37/4/521.abstract

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Rafael Wittek,
Jul 26, 2012, 9:16 AM