Posts tagged: work

Professor Kirk Chang’s latest research in gossip management at work

Professor Kirk Chang has been interviewed by Fiona Macrae, Science Correspondent for the Daily Mail and talked about his latest research in gossip management at work.

Prof. Chang, who conducted a series of empirical investigations with colleagues from Oxford Brookes University (UK) and National Chengchi University (Taiwan), said: “Virtually all workers engage in gossip at one time or another but surprisingly it has not been subject to much study. You might think that gossip about non work matters might harm productivity, but we found that the opposite. Only job-related gossip leads to negative implications”.

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Does gossip at work harm performance?

professorr kirk

Professor Kirk Chang

Gossip at work can damage morale and make workers more cynical, possibly lowering productivity in around a sixth of all workers, research from Salford has suggested.

Gossip is a well-known phenomenon in workplaces across the world, with ‘water cooler’ moments occurring in most office or factory environments. It is often defined as an informal, casual conversation about others not involved in the conversation, typically involving details that are not confirmed as being true.

Previous studies have found that up to two thirds of work chats are about people who are not involved in the conversation, in other words gossip, but the impact of this has not previously been studied in depth. Many may see it as benign, or even helping to bond teams together. But this new research brings that into question and the results may make worrying reading for managers.

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