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Gossip & Rumours
Transcript of Gossip & Rumours
Maddison Dantu-Hann, Rhiannon Fraser
Nikita Fursman & Chole Hunt
1. Define Gossip and Rumours
2. Major Functions
3. Sources of Gossip and Rumours
5. Positives and Negatives
6. Trust & Ru-building it
"unverified and instrumentally relevant information statements in circulation that arise in contexts of ambiguity, danger or potential threat, and that function to help people make sense and manage risk"
‘evaluative social talk about individuals . . . 'that arises in the context of social network formation, change, and maintenance . . . [and that fulfills] a variety of essential social network functions including entertainment, maintaining group cohesiveness, establishing, changing and maintaining group norms, group power structure and group membership
Functions of Gossip & Rumors
Workers use 'power play' using information as a commodity to express dominance or cause self promotion in relative to a social group
Personal Power & Position
Gossip and rumours are used for mutual satisfaction or amusement
Recipients do not view gossip as a 'waste of time' but rather relevant to the work place
Gossip and rumors are used to unite groups by:
~ Maintaining morals and values
~ Control & regulate competing cliques
~ Reinforce pre-existing cohesion between group members
Rumours surrounding job stability or share prices
Rumours which arise due to errors surrounding costly computer or human errors.
The formulation of the gossip or rumour
During times of uncertainty and anxiety their is an increase in the number of rumours circulating
Evaluation & Credulity
People more likely to believe gossip rumours are true, however they do not need to be 100% believed in order to be passed along
The more times a piece of gossip or rumour is heard the more likely it is to be perceived as being true. As it circulates it becomes more probable due to changes and eventually equate to being know as facts
Positives and Negatives
~Help to foster intimacy and group solidarity.
~ Information can be spread faster around the office on informal networks
~ Allows mangers to monitor and understand social systems
~ Employees spend more time socialising instead of working
~ Distortion of message
~Negatively impact reputation of employees who are the focus of the gossip or rumour
The following took place in a Japanese bank in 1998
Adapted from Ogasawara, Yuko, 1998
The original message is loss due to distortion typical of verbal messages
"an outcome, rather than a characteristic, process of behavior"
"A set of confident positive expectations employees have about the current and future intentions of the organisations"
Examines skills, expertise and competencies of an organisation (Caldwell and Clapham 2003)
The organisation making corporate changes and decisions for the best interests of the employees
The way in which the company upholds it's reputation
Rumours which focus on staff duties and deal directly with the organisation
Events where merges and closing divisions are taking place in the organisation
Consumer concerns relating to the products being offered by the business
In a bank there were two major departments; the directors and the lower workers. The lower workers’ desk were grouped into one section and the directors into a separate space. Little communication happened between the two groups.
In the lower workers’ section the workers had established informal communication networks and spent a lot of the time talking to each other when they weren’t working.
As a rule in the company, promotions were given based on an employee's reputation. Rumours and gossip often stemmed from the lower workers up to the directors and eventually to those in charge of handing out the promotions. The lower workers discovered that by creating and controlling gossip and rumours, they could influence those in higher positions. They used their power to control those in charge because the directors did not want to be the subject of ill gossip or rumours and so they complied with the lower workers.
Caldwell, C & Clapham S 2003, ‘Organisational Trustworthiness: An International Perspective’, Journal of Business Ethics, Vol. 1, No. 47, pp 349-364.
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DiFonzo, N., Bordia, P., & Rosnow, R.L 1994, ‘Reining in Rumours’, Organizational Dynamics, Vol. 23, No. 1, pp. 47-62.
DiFonzo, N & Bordia, P 1995, ‘Rumour, Gossip and Urban Legends’, Diogenes, Vol 54, No. 1, pp 19-35
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Noon M, & Delbridge R 1993, ‘News from Behind My Hand: Gossip in Organisations’, Organization Studies, Vol. 14, No. 23, pp. 14-23.
Ogasawar, Y 1998, Office ladies and salaried men: power, gender and work in Japanese companies, University of California Press, California.
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(DiFonzo & Bordia 1995)
(DiFronzo & Bordia 1995)