Rumor as Revenge in the Workplace

Prashant Bordia, Kohyar Kiazad, Simon Lloyd D Restubog, Nicholas DiFonzo, Nicholas Stenson, Robert L. Tang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Two studies that examined the role of revenge in rumor transmission and involved working adults as participants are reported. Study 1 used hypothetical scenarios to manipulate organizational treatment of an employee and the believability of a rumor. Participants had higher intention to transmit a harmful rumor when the organization broke job-related promises (i.e., breached the psychological contract) and revenge motivation mediated this relationship. Believability of the rumor had no effect. Study 2 used a field survey methodology and, controlling for social desirability, replicated the results for self- and peer-reported rumor transmission behavior. Study 2 also showed that participants’ belief in negative reciprocity norm strengthened the relationship between breach and revenge motivation.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)363-388
Number of pages26
JournalGroup and Organization Management
Volume39
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2014
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • communication
  • social exchange
  • workplace deviance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Applied Psychology
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management

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  • Cite this

    Bordia, P., Kiazad, K., Restubog, S. L. D., DiFonzo, N., Stenson, N., & Tang, R. L. (2014). Rumor as Revenge in the Workplace. Group and Organization Management, 39(4), 363-388. https://doi.org/10.1177/1059601114540750