Gossip fiercer than a tiger: Effect of workplace negative gossip on targeted employees’ innovative behavior

Aiqin Zhou1, Yi Liu2, Xin Su3, Haoying Xu4
1School of Economics and Management, Tsinghua University, People’s Republic of China
2Zhengzhou Ethnic Affairs Committee, People’s Republic of China
3School of Economics and Management, Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications, People’s Republic of China
4School of Business, Central University of Finance and Economics, People’s Republic of China
Cite this article:  Zhou, A., Liu, Y., Su, X., & Xu, H. (2019). Gossip fiercer than a tiger: Effect of workplace negative gossip on targeted employees’ innovative behavior. Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 47, e5727.

Volume 47 Issue 5 | e5727 | Published: May 2019 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2224/sbp.5727

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From a self-evaluation perspective, we explored the influence of negative workplace gossip on targeted employees’ innovative behavior. We surveyed 296 employees of 19 enterprises. The results of regression analysis showed that negative workplace gossip was negatively related to employees’ innovative behavior, that organization-based self-esteem mediated the relationship between negative workplace gossip and employees’ innovative behavior, and that employees’ creative self-efficacy moderated the relationship between organization-based self-esteem and employees’ innovative behavior, such that the positive relationship was stronger when employees’ creative self-efficacy was higher. Our findings offer insight into the potential harm of gossip in the workplace and contribute to delineating the underlying mechanism and boundary condition of the link between negative workplace gossip and employees’ innovative behavior. Theoretical and practical implications are discussed.

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