Honors Projects

The Good and Bad of Workplace Gossip

Vanessa Burke


This study examined gossip behaviors of 236 teleworkers and 197 traditional workers. Previous research suggests that gossip has both positive and negative effects on affective commitment depending on whether the gossip elicited retaliatory behaviors (e.g., incivility) or social support from coworkers. Although sex differences in gossip frequency were expected, this was not supported in the results. Regardless, differences between teleworkers versus non-teleworkers were observed in the model through multiple group analyses. Thus, consistent with theory, gossip met with retaliation led to higher depletion and lower affective commitment while gossip met with social support led to less depletion and higher affective commitment. Discussion is included on implications of this study and suggest avenues for future research on gossip.