Can subordinates benefit from manager’s gossip?

Article


Chang, K. and Kuo, C-C. 2021. Can subordinates benefit from manager’s gossip? European Management Journal. 39 (4), pp. 497-507. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.emj.2020.09.009
AuthorsChang, K. and Kuo, C-C.
Abstract

Every story has two sides, so does gossip. Unlike prior studies that condemn gossip, our research analyzes whether managers’ gossip benefits subordinates. Gossip is informal conversation about other people who are absent at the scene, and gossip may be positive or negative. Positive gossip contains positiveness and appreciation, whereas negative gossip encloses negativeness and depreciation. We propose that managers’ positive gossip acts as commitment facilitator, implying a sense of recognition to subordinates. We also propose that subordinates appreciate such recognition by showing commitment toward managers. Research data are gathered from anonymous questionnaires that are distributed to 117 managers and 201 subordinates from five industries in Taiwan. Bootstrapping and structural equation modeling techniques are used to analyze the data. Managers’ positive gossip is found to be correlated with subordinates’ commitment toward managers, which also mediates subordinates’ perception of well-being, team empowerment, and job embeddedness. Yet, manager’s negative gossip is not correlated with any research variables. Our research is the first of its kind to explain why managers’ gossip has potential to be a commitment facilitator, and has brought news insights into gossip literature. Implications of the research findings also help reduce the bias associated with workplace gossip.

JournalEuropean Management Journal
Journal citation39 (4), pp. 497-507
ISSN 0263-2373
Year2021
PublisherElsevier
Accepted author manuscript
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Anyone
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)https://doi.org/10.1016/j.emj.2020.09.009
Publication dates
Online18 Sep 2020
Print04 Aug 2021
Publication process dates
Accepted17 Sep 2020
Deposited07 Jun 2023
Copyright holder© 2020, The Author(s)
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