Talking about the boss: Effects of generalized and interpersonal trust on workplace gossip

Lea Ellwardt*, Rafael Wittek, Rudi Wielers

*Bijbehorende auteur voor dit werk

OnderzoeksoutputAcademicpeer review

39 Citaten (Scopus)
57 Downloads (Pure)


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.

Originele taal-2English
Pagina's (van-tot)521-549
Aantal pagina's29
TijdschriftGroup & Organization Management
Nummer van het tijdschrift4
StatusPublished - aug-2012

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