My article just appeared in the Journal of Intercultural Communication Studies: An Intercultural Analysis of Gossip (D.Darmon)

ICS Journal

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.

I would love to hear your thoughts and feedback!

Dominique Darmon has been a senior lecturer at The Hague University for Applied Sciences since 2012. She is the award winning author of "Have I Got Dirt for You: Using Office Gossip to Your Advantage" and "Roddel je naar de top: De ultieme kantoorgids." She teaches international communication management and is a member of the Research Group Change Management at the university. Dominique has more than fifteen years of experience as a television producer: she worked for the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, for Vision TV, (Canada’s national, multi-faith television network) and produced documentaries for OMNI Television, (a Canadian multi-cultural station). Dominique then worked for SNV (Netherlands Development Organisation) as international campaign manager. Her work took her around the world, to places such as Russia, Indonesia, Cuba, Iraq, Cambodia, Malawi, Kenya, Uganda, Ethiopia and Papua New Guinea.

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