The power of malicious gossip
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This paper focuses on malicious workplace gossip from the perspective of those targeted by this dark form of organisational communication. Findings from a large exemplarian action research project are reported that suggest malicious gossip can be an influential form of power that strongly contributes to counterproductive organisational behaviour. The discussion draws upon the emergent themes from the research to highlight the negative consequences of malicious gossip for those targeted and their organisations, and in so doing, elaborates on the phenomenon of workplace mobbing. This research highlights the importance of recognising gossip as an effective, though dark, form of power and the value of rational discourse for improving organisational communication.
Australian Journal of Communication
Copyright remains with the authors 2011. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported (CC BY-NC 3.0) License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc/3.0/) which permits unrestricted, non-commercial use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, providing that the work is properly cited.
Industrial and Organisational Psychology