My article just appeared in the Journal of Intercultural Communication Studies: An Intercultural Analysis of Gossip (D.Darmon)
Abstract: The range of studies that have been conducted on the role of gossip in organizations suggest that gossip in the workplace plays a variety of important roles in organisational processes. However, relatively few studies have explored its role in intercultural situations. This is surprising given how organisations are becoming increasingly diverse. This paper addresses this gap in the literature. It reports on an exploratory project that sought to determine how perceptions of organisational gossip vary between members of different cultural groups. Using a sensemaking, interpretative approach, we showed two gossip scenarios to 8 Chinese, 8 German and 8 Dutch first year students, and conducted semi structured interviews, asking them how they perceived the nature of the gossip, the gossiper and the object of gossip (i.e., the person being gossiped about). After analysing the data with ATLAS.ti, we observed certain patterns emerging. For example, while all students condemned a manager’s bad behaviour, the Chinese students seemed to expect it more than did their Dutch or German counterparts. Moreover, we found that the relationship and amount of trust that exists between the gossiper, listener and object of gossip greatly influenced how the gossiper and object of gossip were perceived. After reflecting on our research methodology, this study sets the stage for the next phase of our research on the role of gossip in intercultural situations.
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