Title

The Hidden Costs of Negative Workplace Gossip: Its Effect on Targets’ Behaviors, the Mediating Role of Guanxi Closeness, and the Moderating Effect of Need for Affiliation

ORCID Identifiers

0000-0003-3670-7916

Document Type

Article

Source of Publication

Journal of Business Ethics

Publication Date

1-1-2022

Abstract

This research explores the harmful effects of negative workplace gossip (NWG) on targets and organizations, including its impacts on helping behavior and knowledge hiding. The mediating role of guanxi closeness and the moderating role of need for affiliation are also examined. The study, based on conservation of resources theory, collected data from 526 employees in the hospitality industry in China, using a three-wave survey design. Hierarchical multiple regression analysis was employed to test the hypotheses. The empirical results showed that NWG was a strong predictor of reduced helping behavior and increased knowledge hiding; and that guanxi closeness mediated both the negative relationship between NWG and helping behavior, and the positive relationship between NWG and knowledge hiding. Additionally, need for affiliation was shown to act as a moderator between NWG and guanxi closeness: high need for affiliation amplified the negative impact of NWG on guanxi closeness, and then further affected employees’ helping behavior and knowledge hiding. This study therefore offers an important new perspective for interpreting the detrimental effects of negative gossip in organizations, providing not just theoretical advances but practical ways in which managers can proactively reduce these impacts.

ISSN

0167-4544

Publisher

Springer Science and Business Media LLC

Disciplines

Business | Social and Behavioral Sciences

Keywords

Guanxi closeness, Helping behavior, Knowledge hiding, Need for affiliation, Negative workplace gossip

Scopus ID

85122397310

Indexed in Scopus

yes

Open Access

no

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