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The co-evolution of gossip and friendship in workplace social networks

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Abstract

This study investigates the co-evolution of friendship and gossip in organizations. Two contradicting perspectives are tested. The social capital perspective predicts that friendship causes gossip between employees, defined as informal evaluative talking about absent colleagues. The evolutionary perspective reverses this causality claiming that gossiping facilitates friendship. The data comprises of three observations of a complete organizational network, allowing longitudinal social network analyses. Gossip and friendship are modeled as both explanatory and outcome networks with RSiena. Results support the evolutionary perspective in that gossip between two individuals increases the likelihood of their future friendship formation. However, individuals with disproportionately high gossip activity have fewer friends in the network, suggesting that the use of gossiping to attract friends has a limit. (C) 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

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... Such a phenomenon of shared camaraderie especially occurs after adults have shared negative gossip with others (Bosson, Johnson, Niederhoffer, & Swann, 2006). Moreover, social network analysis in the workplace revealed that gossip between two individuals often establishes a foundation for a future friendship (Ellwardt, Steglich, & Wittek, 2012). Because gossip can operate as a device that signals the first step in building a strong personal tie to another (Ellwardt et al., 2012), adults may respond to such signals and form friendships with those who shared gossip (Ellwardt et al., 2012;Grosser, Lopez-Kidwell, & Labianca, 2010). ...
... Moreover, social network analysis in the workplace revealed that gossip between two individuals often establishes a foundation for a future friendship (Ellwardt, Steglich, & Wittek, 2012). Because gossip can operate as a device that signals the first step in building a strong personal tie to another (Ellwardt et al., 2012), adults may respond to such signals and form friendships with those who shared gossip (Ellwardt et al., 2012;Grosser, Lopez-Kidwell, & Labianca, 2010). Since gossip is ubiquitous and a fundamental prerequisite for establishing good relationships with others in human society (Dunbar, 2004), it is worth investigating whether it also influences children's friendship formation. ...
... Moreover, social network analysis in the workplace revealed that gossip between two individuals often establishes a foundation for a future friendship (Ellwardt, Steglich, & Wittek, 2012). Because gossip can operate as a device that signals the first step in building a strong personal tie to another (Ellwardt et al., 2012), adults may respond to such signals and form friendships with those who shared gossip (Ellwardt et al., 2012;Grosser, Lopez-Kidwell, & Labianca, 2010). Since gossip is ubiquitous and a fundamental prerequisite for establishing good relationships with others in human society (Dunbar, 2004), it is worth investigating whether it also influences children's friendship formation. ...
Article
Previous studies with adults argued that gossiping contributes to friendship formation. Although some evidence suggests that gossip is also ubiquitous in children’s lives, whether children understand its effect has not been investigated. In this study, we examined how children aged 6–10 years understand the effect of gossip on friendship formation between two individuals. They heard six vignettes where a protagonist heard a piece of gossip about a target from a gossip spreader and answered whether the protagonist wanted to be friends with the spreader. In these vignettes, we manipulated the valence of gossip (positive/negative) and the shared mindset between the protagonist and the gossip spreader (having the same/opposite/no opinion about the gossip target). We found that the children thought that the protagonist wanted to form a friendship with the person who spread positive gossip, but the extent of the protagonist’s desire to befriend the gossip spreader depended on their shared mindset. On the other hand, the children thought that the protagonist wanted to befriend the person who spread negative gossip when the protagonist had the same opinion about the target. These findings suggest that the children’s inference of friendship formation caused by gossip depended on the valence of gossip and whether a shared mindset existed between the two individuals. This is the first evidence that reveals how children understand the social consequences of gossiping.
... Dunbar's hypothesis is that gossip is to humans what grooming is to primates: a mechanism to create and maintain personal bonds of mutual trust between individuals (i.e., the sender and receiver). Indeed, the bonding hypothesis has been supported by several studies (Bosson et al., 2006;Ellwardt, Steglich, et al., 2012;Peters et al., 2017). Meanwhile, however, some research has also demonstrated that negative forms of gossip can backfire, decreasing the likeability or trustworthiness of the sender, mainly if the relationship between the receiver and target is characterised by some emotional bonding (Caivano et al., 2020;Farley, 2011;Gawronski & Walther, 2008;Shinohara et al., 2021). ...
... This sender-receiver-target distinction does not preclude, however, that in a "gossipy" event, there may be more than a single receiver (or target) or that the roles of sender and receiver switch during a conversation. There also exists agreement that gossip can affect the relationship between the sender and the receiver (Bosson et al., 2006;Caivano et al., 2020;Ellwardt, Steglich, et al., 2012;Farley, 2011;Peters et al., 2017). Similarly, the information exchanged in gossip may impact the image that both the sender and the receiver have of the target (Baum et al., 2020;Costello & Srivastava, 2020;Smith & Collins, 2009). ...
... Altogether, the above suggests that gossip can potentially change the structure of the social network wherein it was produced. Nevertheless, there is a noticeable lack of theory and research connecting gossip with social network dynamics, namely how social networks evolve (Ellwardt, Steglich, et al., 2012;Shaw et al., 2011). By "social network" I refer to a set of individuals with a social relation defined among them, and these encompass positive and negative types of ties (Harrigan et al., 2020;Offer, 2021). ...
Thesis
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Gossip constitutes a form of human communication consisting of the transmission of evaluative information about absent others. Previous research has associated the usage of gossip with outcomes at both the individual and the group levels. Such outcomes include, among other things, the delimitation of group boundaries, the ostracism of wrong-doers, effects on job performance, or feelings of social inclusion. Despite all this, there are conflicting views and an overall lack of research regarding how gossip affects — and is affected by — one’s and others’ relationships and, consequently, the evolution of a social network. Using social network data from high schools and firms, the purpose of this thesis is to shed light on gossip’s relational antecedents and consequences. Four chapters compose this thesis. Chapter 1 (the “kappa”) provides the reader with an introduction to the study of gossip, the research problem, the theoretical and methodological approaches used, and the contributions and limitations of this thesis. In Chapter 2 (with Dorottya Kisfalusi and Károly Takács), I examine how antipathies contribute to negative gossip in high school classrooms. Results show that one’s and friends’ antipathies favour gossip independently, supporting the hypothesis that discrepancies between the sender and the receiver in how they relate to the target are resolved in gossip. Chapter 3 (with Károly Takács) centres on the distinctive contribution of employees whose networks span different groups. Results reveal that “network brokers” send positive and negative forms of gossip, but also are the targets of their colleagues’ negative talk. Finally, Chapter 4 (with Rafael Wittek, Francesca Giardini, Lea Ellwardt and Robert Krause) examines the impact of the reputations heard in gossip on the evolution of friendship relationships among employees. Results reveal weak reputational effects but disclose that negative information decay in value if overused.
... In his popular book Grooming, Gossip and the Evolutionary Language, Dunbar [23] considers human gossip behavior as analogous to and even possibly stemming from primate grooming behavior, arguing that gossip produces interpersonal trust that strengthens dyadic bonds. In support, gossip does appear to promote friendship, interpersonal trust and closeness [2,34,[49][50][51][52][53]. ...
... The target main effect (celebrities > ingroup >> outgroup) provides evidence for interest more generally [4,9,[14][15][16][17][18][19], and relationship intimacy [2,23,34,[49][50][51][52][53] and social influence [24,25,27,[35][36][37][38][39][40][41][42][43][44][45][46][47][48] more specifically as important factors driving people to gossip. Since intimacy or closeness implies having more meaning and influence in an individual's day-to-day life, and influence or status implies social attention, power, and influence, both factors support the notion that functional significance strongly drives gossiping. ...
... From a sociocognitive perspective, it implies the need to maintain accurate knowledge of them: i.e., an accurate model of their minds, including their current knowledge, interests, intentions, activities, etc. [5,72,73,92,93]. Moreover, in doing this, a sense of solidarity and feelings of community among ingroup members also develops [23,34,46,[49][50][51][52][53]. ...
Article
To understand, predict, and help correct each other's actions we need to maintain accurate, up-to-date knowledge of people, and communication is a critical means by which we gather and disseminate this information. Yet the conditions under which we communication social information remain unclear. Testing hypotheses generated from our theoretical framework, we examined when and why social information is disseminated about an absent third party: i.e., gossiped. Gossip scenarios presented to participants (e.g., "Person-X cheated on their exam") were based on three key factors: (1) target (ingroup, outgroup, or celebrity), (2) valence (positive or negative), and (3) content. We then asked them (a) whether they would spread the information, and (b) to rate it according to subjective valence, ordinariness, interest level, and emotion. For ratings, the scenarios participants chose to gossip were considered to have higher valence (whether positive or negative), to be rarer, more interesting, and more emotionally evocative; thus showing that the paradigm was meaningful to subjects. Indeed, for target, valence, and content, a repeated-measures ANOVA found significant effects for each factor independently, as well as their interactions. The results supported our hypotheses: e.g., for target, more gossiping about celebrities and ingroup members (over strangers); for valence, more about negative events overall, and yet for ingroup members, more positive gossiping; for content, more about moral topics, with yet all domains of social content communicated depending on the situation-context matters, influencing needs. The findings suggest that social knowledge sharing (i.e., gossip) involves sophisticated calculations that require our highest sociocognitive abilities, and provide specific hypotheses for future examination of neural mechanisms.
... Granovetter, 1985;Lazega, 2001). These relationships include friendship links and information exchange channels (Daskalaki, 2010), such as advice (Lazega, Bar-Hen, Barbillon, & Donnet, 2016;Wolff, Wältermann, & Rank, 2020), ideas (Marchegiani & Arcese, 2018;Vicentini & Nasta, 2018), and even gossip (Ellwardt, Steglich Rafael, Steglich, Wittek, & Steglich Rafael, 2012). In the CCIs, collaborative relationships are embedded in friendly relationships, which promote work opportunities but also generate tensions and conflicts Grabher, 2002). ...
... Research on organizations has found that personal friendship ties are elemental building blocks of informal relationships because actors tend to be more cooperative and productive when informal ties complement formal contacts (Ellwardt et al., 2012). Informal ties are channels of information about colleagues' trustworthiness. ...
... Informal ties are channels of information about colleagues' trustworthiness. Conversations about private issues and other topics can also determine an actor's reputation (Burt and Knez, 1996;Burt, 2008in Ellwardt et al., 2012. ...
Thesis
I examine the emergence and evolution of new social formations in a coworking space over the course of three years. I evaluate the interactions of a group of co-located self-employed individuals, freelancers, and start-up workers in the cultural and creative industries (CCIs). To my knowledge, no other scholars have undertaken a longitudinal study of the evolution of social relations in coworking spaces. Coworking spaces convene diverse and often complementary knowledge bases, facilitating coworkers’ creative processes (Merkel 2017; Schmidt et al. 2014) and collaborations. These spaces also support community-based approaches to work organization and social opportunities for their users, most of whom labor outside the organizational structures of firms. How do collaborative environments emerge in coworking spaces? I analyze the case of Department 16, the first center for the CCIs in Heidelberg, a second tier city in southwest Germany. I focus on two types of relationships and their dynamics to better understand the genesis of collaborative environments. The first relationship is collaborative, which I call “Working Together,” and comprises three types of links: business/commercial, arts/culture, and community. The second focuses on social practices (or what I call “Making Friends”) and includes four frequent, informal conversation types: conversations about work, exchanges of ideas, conversations about private matters, and those about other topics. I use a relational approach that combines intensive ethnographic work, interviews, and social network analysis to describe the interactions and characteristics that build coworking spaces. I explore and theorize the mechanisms of networks’ origins. I reflect on the emergence of evolutionary social processes and understand evolution to be the recombination, permutation, and transformation of existing social formations. I find that collaborative and social relationships flourish in coworking spaces and that exchanging ideas is critical to the emergence of a collaborative working space. First, coworkers develop what I call an “omnivore” strategy for collaboration. This strategy has three stages: Initially, coworkers pursue all possible collaborations to promote a sense of community. Then, group solidarity consolidates close relationships among certain peers and encourages conformity (via social pressure) to community values at the coworking space. Finally, coworkers can gain social recognition and increase their social status in the space and visibility to other local partners through collaborations. I also find that work-related conversations and exchanges of ideas characterize interactions during the center’s first stage, whereas private conversations are the center’s social backbone in the final phase. Furthermore, when coworkers join the center affects their future socialization strategies. Beta-phase tenants, who self-identify as “pioneers,” engage in more conversations in all three stages. Finally, collaboration correlates highly with exchanges of ideas in Stage 1 but work-related conversations in Stage 3. In Stage 1, the coworking space emerges as a community and organization for the exchange of ideas. To access more resources in the coworking space (e.g., information and help), actors increase their centrality in the network. Coworkers exchange ideas to build their social networks, which in turn creates feedback loops and produces work referrals. Networking mixes two strategies: communality, or participating in discussions about ideas and future collaborations, and sociality, which creates weak ties through work referrals in professional networks. Coworkers interact with others who do not share their economic success, and qualitative analysis suggests that coworkers use status games and social solidarity strategies at different periods during the development of the coworking space. Due to budgetary constraints, Department 16 lacked a community manager. Instead, the management agency unofficially asked coworkers to perform management activities, like organizing community projects, supporting networking and coaching events, and managing marketing and public relations. Therefore, this case study may not be directly generalizable to more conventional coworking spaces. However, it presents an opportunity to observe coworking spaces’ social dynamics without the community manager figure. This research has four practical implications. First, this investigation confirms the value of coworking spaces for fostering creativity, networking, innovation, and new business opportunities. However, financial and logistical constraints hamper innovative processes and business development. Second, this research addresses the social dynamics of a growing group of economic actors: independent, self-employed workers and freelancers. I shed light on the structure and content of their interactions in a coworking space. Third, my analysis examines some advantages and disadvantages of specialized coworking spaces. On the one hand, coworkers demand communities of peers with whom they can exchange ideas and discuss common work-related problems. On the other hand, the most active networkers are situated between CCI branches and sectors. Fourth, building a sense of community in a coworking space requires effort. If managers are unable or unwilling to nurture an appropriate environment and create networking opportunities, users should take the initiative to make changes to their work environment. Coworkers’ engagement not only fosters a sense of community and strengthens shared values but also catalyzes new business opportunities.
... The extant literature has devoted much attention to the gossip target in terms of the antecedents of being a target of gossip (Ellwardt, Labianca, & Wittek, 2012;McAndrew, Bell, & Garcia, 2007;Wert & Salovey, 2004) and the social consequences of gossip for the gossip target (Feinberg et al., 2014;Sommerfeld, Krambeck, & Milinski, 2008;Zinko & Rubin, 2015). However, the role of the gossip sender has largely been limited to the antecedents that promote gossip activity and its subsequent effects on the social network structure (Ellwardt, Steglich, & Wittek, 2012;Ellwardt, Wittek, & Wielers, 2012;Grosser et al., 2010). A notable exception is Kurland and Pelled's (2000) conceptual model of the effects of gossip on the acquisition of power, which demonstrates the potential for self-gain from spreading gossip. ...
... Gossip is an efficient and valuable mechanism for both building and undermining reputations in groups by spreading evaluative information (Beersma & Van Kleef, 2011;Feinberg et al., 2012;Zinko & Rubin, 2015). Reputational information accumulates as the gossip sender and recipient engage in the reciprocation and mutual exchange of gossip (Eder & Enke, 1991;Ellwardt, Steglich, & Wittek, 2012;Rosnow, 1977). This reputational information influences the formation of relationships in the workplace (Ellwardt, Steglich, & Wittek, 2012;Erdogan, Bauer, & Walter, 2015;Grosser et al., 2010) and helps group members to identify who they can and cannot trust (Beersma & Van Kleef, 2011;Sommerfeld, Kram-beck, Semmann, & Milinski, 2007; J. Wu, Balliet, & Van Lange, 2016). ...
... Reputational information accumulates as the gossip sender and recipient engage in the reciprocation and mutual exchange of gossip (Eder & Enke, 1991;Ellwardt, Steglich, & Wittek, 2012;Rosnow, 1977). This reputational information influences the formation of relationships in the workplace (Ellwardt, Steglich, & Wittek, 2012;Erdogan, Bauer, & Walter, 2015;Grosser et al., 2010) and helps group members to identify who they can and cannot trust (Beersma & Van Kleef, 2011;Sommerfeld, Kram-beck, Semmann, & Milinski, 2007; J. Wu, Balliet, & Van Lange, 2016). ...
Article
Despite the ubiquity of gossip in the workplace, the management literature offers a limited understanding of its consequences for gossip senders. To understand whether gossiping is beneficial or detrimental for the gossip sender, it is necessary to consider the perspective of gossip recipients and their response to gossip. We develop a typology of gossip that characterizes archetypal patterns of interpreting gossip. We then draw from attribution theory to develop a multilevel process model of workplace gossip that focuses on how the gossip recipient's attributions of a gossip episode shape the gossip recipient's subsequent response and behaviors. In addition to the valence and work-relatedness dimensions of gossip that comprise the typology, we examine credibility and the status of the gossip target as fundamental features of the gossip episode that jointly affect the gossip recipient's attributions. At the episodic level, the process of deciphering the gossip sender's motives influences the subsequent reciprocation of gossip. Depending on the locus of causality attributed to the gossip episode, gossip also contributes to the perceived trustworthiness of the gossip sender and the gossip recipient's cooperation with or social undermining of the gossip sender over time. The proposed model suggests that the potential benefits or social consequences of gossip for the gossip sender depend on the characteristics of the gossip and the context of the gossip episode that serve as inputs to the gossip recipient's attributional process. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved).
... Gossipers tend to spread positive gossip about their colleagues within the group (Ellwardt, Steglich, & Wittek, 2012). In particular, considering that new employees lack a sense of control in the new environment, they may be more inclined to use positive gossip for socialization than negative gossip in the workplace (Brady et al., 2017;Suls, 1977). ...
... Past research, for example, has documented that gossiping, especially in uncertain or turbulent environments, is an important informal way for people to gain critical information and emotional connections (Lee & Pinker, 2010;Wert & Salovey, 2004). Evidence from social network research has suggested that gossiping in any corner of the workplace can be viewed as a system of information exchange and group bonding (Foster, 2004), which is gradually and intricately organized in various ways into a vast network embedded within the organization (Ellwardt et al., 2012;Grosser et al., 2010). ...
... We believe that positive gossip in the workplace can lead to an increase in informational ties and friendship ties among newcomers. This is because in terms of informational ties, gossip itself contains a wealth of important information and criteria of the organization, which is crucial for newcomers to quickly understand and adapt to the new environment (Ellwardt et al., 2012). Thus, newcomers will be more willing to participate in workplace gossip, thereby expanding their informational ties in the new environment. ...
Article
Researchers have been interested in discussing negative workplace gossip and its consequences, but have paid little attention to positive workplace gossip and its positive aspects in the workplace. Based on the perspective of social network, this study explores the two-path mediating mechanisms between positive workplace gossip and the socialization outcomes of newcomers. The data was collected in a multi-time and multi-source manner. The results shown that information ties and friendship ties mediated the relationship between positive workplace gossip and the socialization outcomes of newcomers. Specifically, positive workplace gossip helped newcomers form instrumental and expressive social relationships, namely informational ties and friendship ties, which in turn contributed to socialization outcomes, namely, role clarity and social integration. The theoretical and management implications are discussed as well.
... Research suggests that the act of sharing NWG signals solidarity, trust, social commitment, and friendship by indicating a willingness to disclose sensitive information that is typically only shared with close and trusted friends (Ellwardt, Steglich, & Wittek, 2012, Ellwardt, Wittek, & Wielers, 2012Lee & Barnes, 2020). That is, due to the sensitive information contained in NWG, disclosing NWG requires a certain level of interpersonal trust between the initiator and the receiver of gossip (Grosser et al., 2010). ...
... That is, due to the sensitive information contained in NWG, disclosing NWG requires a certain level of interpersonal trust between the initiator and the receiver of gossip (Grosser et al., 2010). Indeed, sharing NWG is more likely to occur with friends compared to a casual acquaintance or stranger (Bosson et al., 2006;Foster, 2004;Grosser et al., 2010), is considered a 'trusted exchange' (Foster, 2004, p. 85), and increases the likelihood of future friendship formation (Ellwardt, Steglich, & Wittek, 2012, Ellwardt, Wittek, & Wielers, 2012. ...
... Indeed, receiving NWG 'signals a hostile and threatening social environment where people talk negatively about similar others' (Martinescu et al., 2014(Martinescu et al., , p. 1670. It can also indicate the presence of nonfriendly relationships at work (Ellwardt, Steglich, & Wittek, 2012, Ellwardt, Wittek, & Wielers, 2012. After receiving NWG, newcomers may thus spend time ruminating on mistakes they made, social exchanges they had, and/or what went wrong at work and how these potential norm violations can result in them becoming the next target of gossip. ...
Article
Full-text available
As research regarding the targets and initiators of workplace gossip is gaining traction, one perspective that remains overlooked is the gossip receiver. Organizational newcomers are a particularly relevant population to study the impact of receiving negative gossip on because they use social information to navigate an unfamiliar organizational terrain. We propose a parallel moderated mediation model in which receiving negative gossip has contradicting effects on newcomer job anxiety through perceived social inclusion and negative rumination, and agreeableness as a boundary condition of the effects of receiving negative gossip. We collected data from 202 newcomers using a four-wave time-lagged design and found that receiving negative gossip increased newcomer job anxiety via negative rumination but did not decrease job anxiety via perceived social inclusion. Further, agreeableness moderated the effect of receiving negative gossip on negative rumination (but not perceived social inclusion) such that the effect of receiving negative gossip on negative rumination was stronger for less agreeable newcomers. Lastly, the indirect effect of receiving negative gossip on job anxiety via negative rumination was stronger for less agreeable newcomers. Theoretical and practical implications specific to gossip and newcomers are discussed.
... Such behavior provides multiple insights about social closeness. Indeed, sharing gossip can promote friendship by signaling trust, cooperation, and in-group altruism with the third-party, even though it comes at the expense of the confidant's relationship with the original secret-holder (Brondino et al., 2017;Ellwardt et al., 2012). For instance, if Amy shares Beth's secret with Carol, it could suggest that Amy is less close to Beth than Beth expected when she confided in Amy, and that Amy values her relationship with Carol more than she values her relationship with Beth. ...
... Alternatively, even if a secret's exclusiveness is not misrepresented, the benefits of sharing a secret for promoting friendship may depend on how many people also know that information. For example, adults consider how broadly a secret is known: when information is shared more widely, they see knowledge of secrets and gossip as weaker cues of friendship (Bedrov & Gable, 2021;Ellwardt et al., 2012). To successfully use this heuristic (that secrets are more telling of friendship when they are less widely known), people must track multiple social relationships and account for the probability of whether each social partner is or is not aware of the secret. ...
Article
The lion's share of research on secrecy focuses on how deciding to keep or share a secret impacts a secret‐keeper's well‐being. However, secrets always involve more than one person: the secret‐keeper and those from whom the secret is kept or shared with. Although secrets are inherently social, their consequences for people's reputations and social relationships have been relatively ignored. Secrets serve a variety of social functions, including (1) changing or maintaining one's reputation, (2) conveying social utility, and (3) establishing friendship. For example, if Beth has a secret about a past misdemeanor, she might not tell any of her friends in order to maintain her reputation as an outstanding citizen. If Beth does share this secret with her friend Amy, Amy could interpret this as a sign of trust and think that their friendship is special. However, Amy could also choose to share Beth's secret with the rest of the friend group to show that she is a useful member with access to valuable information about others. Attention to these social functions of secrets emerges from a young age, and secrets play a prominent role in human relationships throughout the lifespan. After providing an overview of what is currently known about the relational consequences of secrecy in childhood and adulthood, we discuss how social and developmental psychologists could work together to broaden our understanding of the sociality of secrets. Future steps include incorporating more dyadic and social network analyses into research on secrets and looking at similar questions across ages. This article is categorized under: Psychology > Reasoning and Decision Making Secrets are inherently social and cannot exist outside of the social relationships in which they are kept and shared. Accordingly, secrets can also serve a variety of social functions, including (1) changing or maintaining one's reputation, (2) conveying social utility, and (3) establishing friendship.
... Va lues were dichotomized, with relationships described "friendly" or "good friend" coded as the presence of a friendship relation "1", and the remaining categories coded as "0", representing their absence Ellwardt, Steglich, et al., 2012;Labun et al., 2016;Pauksztat et al., 2011). If a respondent reported not knowing someone, the response was treated as the absence of a friendship tie and coded as "0". ...
... The first parameter, the rate of change, shows the number of chances, on average, that every actor had to swap ties. In our models, this estimate ranges between 13 and 22, which is a common range given friendship networks measured 6 months apart (Ellwardt, Steglich, et al., 2012;Labun et al., 2016). ...
Article
Complex contagion theory is used to develop novel hypotheses on the effects of workplace gossip on expressive relations. It is argued that hearing gossip from multiple senders or about multiple targets impacts receivers’ friendships with gossip targets. Hypotheses are tested in a two-wave sociometric panel study among 148 employees of three units in a Dutch childcare organisation. Stochastic Actor-oriented Models yield only very weak support for simple contagion processes, with positive gossip fostering receiver-target friendships in one, and negative gossip significantly decreasing them in another of the three Departments. No support was found for complex contagion effects based on multiple senders. Findings for complex contagion based on multiple targets were inconsistent. Implications for theories of gossip and reputation are discussed.
... There is clearly scope for future research into gossip and organizations from this theoretical standpoint, as well as from other theoretical directions. For instance, Ellwardt et al. (2012) also reject the view of gossip as simply the transmission of information inside organizations, arguing that it is useful to think of gossip as a group process. And if this book achieves its aim to help readers to navigate new scholarly terrains, fresh thinking and theoretical developments that begin from a qualitative research starting point are possible. ...
... (p. 378) They argue that by identifying the minimum criteria of (i) evaluative talk (written or spoken); (ii) between at least two people; and (iii) about an absent third person/s, it is possible to develop these in a more nuanced way, for instance, when studying gossip in different contexts, such as virtual spaces (Gabriels & De Backer, 2016); or from different perspectives, such as the researcher's in autoethnographic research studies (Darmon, 2018); or the work group (Ellwardt et al., 2012). While an enduring challenge for researchers will be one of finding ways through this complex field and publishing their findings, signposts for future research are evident. ...
... Reputation can therefore be seen as an instrument for self-organization in society. Evidence from different kinds of small, close-knit communities (Boehm, 2019;Brenneis, 1984;Ellickson, 1994;Greif, 1989) as well as from larger groups and organizations (Ellwardt et al., 2012;Kniffin & Wilson, 2005;Wittek & Wielers, 1998;Yoeli et al., 2013) consistently shows that reputation can be a powerful instrument of social coordination. ...
... From lab experiments using simple communication chains (Mesoudi et al., 2006) to online experiments with structured populations (Rand et al., 2011), research shows that information tends to be transformed in the process of transmission. In real-world networks of Hungarian adolescents (Kisfalusi et al., 2019), Dutch and German employees (Beersma et al., 2019;Ellwardt et al., 2012;Grosser et al., 2010;Wittek & Wielers, 1998), and rural villagers in India and Bolivia (von Rueden et al., 2019), network properties such as density, closure, transitivity, multiplex reciprocity, and centrality have been found to influence reputation. ...
Article
Full-text available
Research in various disciplines has highlighted that humans are uniquely able to solve the problem of cooperation through the informal mechanisms of reputation and gossip. Reputation coordinates the evaluative judgments of individuals about one another. Direct observation of actions and communication are the essential routes that are used to establish and update reputations. In large groups, where opportunities for direct observation are limited, gossip becomes an important channel to share individual perceptions and evaluations of others that can be used to condition cooperative action. Although reputation and gossip might consequently support large-scale human cooperation, four puzzles need to be resolved to understand the operation of reputation-based mechanisms. First, we need empirical evidence of the processes and content that form reputations and how this may vary cross-culturally. Second, we lack an understanding of how reputation is determined from the muddle of imperfect, biased inputs people receive. Third, coordination between individuals is only possible if reputation sharing and signaling is to a large extent reliable and valid. Communication, however, is not necessarily honest and reliable, so theoretical and empirical work is needed to understand how gossip and reputation can effectively promote cooperation despite the circulation of dishonest gossip. Fourth, reputation is not constructed in a social vacuum; hence we need a better understanding of the way in which the structure of interactions affects the efficiency of gossip for establishing reputations and fostering cooperation.
... 6,9 Observational and self-report questionnaire studies on gossip in school and workplace relationships indicate that it can facilitate building and configuring social ties 24,25 and increase friendship and trust. 26 Individuals may also use gossip as a means to share and compare their impressions of other individuals, both to regulate and understand their own feelings as well as clarify acceptable normative behavior. 27 Evaluations of others can be seen as a form of implied communication, in which the topic of discussion is actually the implied acceptability of behaviors (i.e., norm violations, morals). ...
... 29,39 This idea is consistent with observational work demonstrating the strong relationship between workplace gossip and friendship over time. 26 At the group level, the possibility of gossip also facilitated sustained cooperation. Replicating previous research, individuals tended to contribute more money when they had the opportunity to gossip with one another. ...
Article
Full-text available
Complex language and communication is one of the unique hallmarks that distinguishes humans from most other animals. Interestingly, the overwhelming majority of our communication consists of social topics involving self-disclosure and discussions about others, broadly construed as gossip. Yet the precise social function of gossip remains poorly understood as research has been heavily influenced by folk intuitions narrowly casting gossip as baseless trash talk. Using a novel empirical paradigm that involves real interactions between a large sample of participants, we provide evidence that gossip is a rich, multifaceted construct, that plays a critical role in vicarious learning and social bonding. We demonstrate how the visibility or lack thereof of others' behavior shifts conversational content between self-disclosure and discussions about others. Social information acquired through gossip aids in vicarious learning, directly influencing future behavior and impression formation. At the same time, conversation partners come to influence each other, form more similar impressions, and build robust social bonds. Consistent with prior work, gossip also helps promote cooperation in groups without a need for formal sanctioning mechanisms. Altogether these findings demonstrate the rich and diverse social functions and effects of this ubiquitous human behavior and lay the groundwork for future investigations.
... Evidence shows that friendship and work ties influence individuals' propensity to engage in gossip [181,182]. Furthermore, the quantity and quality of the information shared shape individuals' reputation: high gossip activity decrease people's popularity in the network [183], while gossipers acquire a moral reputation when sharing diagnostic and adequate information that helps to identify others as trustworthy or not [184]. Thus, gossip not only influences the reputation of actors in a social network as 'good' or 'bad' interaction partners. ...
... Field studies portray a less straightforward picture, owing to intertwined processes of social influence and partner selection (table 1, third row), and in particular, the complex coevolution of networks of cooperation and social status [188], or networks, gossip and reputation [189,190]. For example, a series of studies among employees in Dutch organizations found that partner selection strongly depends on three partner characteristics: (i) the degree to which a potential partner has disclosed reputational information about others, i.e. individuals prefer to build ties to those colleagues who have shared negative third-party gossip with them [183], (ii) the power reputation of potential partners, i.e. individuals prefer to build close interpersonal relations with those colleagues whom they deem informally influential [191], and (iii) the degree to which a potential partner actually occupies an influential brokerage position in the informal network [192]. Finally, partner selection is also strongly influenced by self-monitoring capacity of the selecting party [193], with high self-monitors being more likely than low self-monitors to befriend those whom they or others perceive as powerful [191]. ...
Article
Reputation has been shown to provide an informal solution to the problem of cooperation in human societies. After reviewing models that connect reputations and cooperation, we address how reputation results from information exchange embedded in a social network that changes endogenously itself. Theoretical studies highlight that network topologies have different effects on the extent of cooperation, since they can foster or hinder the flow of reputational information. Subsequently, we review models and empirical studies that intend to grasp the coevolution of reputations, cooperation and social networks. We identify open questions in the literature concerning how networks affect the accuracy of reputations, the honesty of shared information and the spread of reputational information. Certain network topologies may facilitate biased beliefs and intergroup competition or in-group identity formation that could lead to high cooperation within but conflicts between different subgroups of a network. Our review covers theoretical, experimental and field studies across various disciplines that target these questions and could explain how the dynamics of interactions and reputations help or prevent the establishment and sustainability of cooperation in small- and large-scale societies. This article is part of the theme issue ‘The language of cooperation: reputation and honest signalling’.
... Stigmatization and ostracism are frequently used as punishments both for the targets of negative gossip (Feinberg et al., 2014;Kurzban & Leary, 2001) and for gossipers who devalue others (Zhu & Smith, 2016). While gossiping can create and strengthen social ties (Dunbar, 1997;Ellwardt et al., 2012;Misch et al., 2016), those who are perceived as gossipers have fewer friends (Ellwardt et al., 2012;Jaeger et al., 1994). ...
... Stigmatization and ostracism are frequently used as punishments both for the targets of negative gossip (Feinberg et al., 2014;Kurzban & Leary, 2001) and for gossipers who devalue others (Zhu & Smith, 2016). While gossiping can create and strengthen social ties (Dunbar, 1997;Ellwardt et al., 2012;Misch et al., 2016), those who are perceived as gossipers have fewer friends (Ellwardt et al., 2012;Jaeger et al., 1994). ...
Article
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Gossip (evaluative talk about others) is ubiquitous. Gossip allows important rules to be clarified and reinforced, and it allows individuals to keep track of their social networks while strengthening their bonds to the group. The purpose of this study is to decipher the nature of gossip and how it relates to friendship connections. To measure how gossip relates to friendship, participants from men’s and women’s collegiate competitive rowing (crew) teams (N = 44) noted their friendship connections and their tendencies to gossip about each of their teammates. Using social network analysis, we found that the crew members’ friend group connectedness significantly correlated with their positive and negative gossip network involvement. Higher connectedness among friends was associated with less involvement in spreading negative gossip and/or being a target of negative gossip. More central connectedness to the friend group was associated with more involvement in spreading positive gossip and/or being a target of positive gossip. These results suggest that the spread of both positive and negative gossip may influence and be influenced by friendship connections in a social network.
... Stigmatization and ostracism are frequently used as punishments both for the targets of negative gossip (Feinberg et al., 2014;Kurzban & Leary, 2001) and for gossipers who devalue others (Zhu & Smith, 2016). While gossiping can create and strengthen social ties (Dunbar, 1997;Ellwardt et al., 2012;Misch et al., 2016), those who are perceived as gossipers have fewer friends (Ellwardt et al., 2012;Jaeger et al., 1994). ...
... Stigmatization and ostracism are frequently used as punishments both for the targets of negative gossip (Feinberg et al., 2014;Kurzban & Leary, 2001) and for gossipers who devalue others (Zhu & Smith, 2016). While gossiping can create and strengthen social ties (Dunbar, 1997;Ellwardt et al., 2012;Misch et al., 2016), those who are perceived as gossipers have fewer friends (Ellwardt et al., 2012;Jaeger et al., 1994). ...
Preprint
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Gossip (evaluative talk about others) is ubiquitous. Gossip allows important rules to be clarified and reinforced, and it allows individuals to keep track of their social networks while strengthening their bonds to the group (Fine, 1977; Foster, 2004). To measure how gossip relates to friendship, participants from a Men’s and Women’s collegiate crew team noted their friendship connections and their tendencies to gossip about each of their teammates. Using social network analysis, we found that the crew members’ friend group connectedness significantly correlated with their positive and negative gossip network involvement. Higher connectedness amongst friends was associated with less involvement in spreading negative gossip and/or being a target of negative gossip. More central connectedness to the friend group was associated with more involvement in spreading positive gossip and/or being a target of positive gossip. These results suggest that the spread of both positive and negative gossip may influence and be influenced by friendship connections in a social network.
... Having a greater number of friends in common not only makes it more likely that you can trust each other, but also engages a greater number of individuals in monitoring gossip behavior to ensure that one's confidences are being kept. As negative gossip can create blowback to those spreading the gossip (Ellwardt et al., 2012b), employees want to make certain that those to whom they spread negative gossip will be trustworthy in keeping their confidences. Similarly, Burt and Knez (1995) showed that trust was related to having mutual third parties (i.e., closed triads). ...
... One important area for future research is the context under which negative ties will emerge, persist, and dissolve into latent or even positive ties, as well as the shortand long-term consequences of temporal negative ties. For example, in a longitudinal SIENA analysis, Ellwardt et al. (2012b) showed that friendship does not merely determine negative gossip being shared, but that gossip exchange might make friendship more likely to emerge. Future research should aim to use a longitudinal approach to bridge processes at multiple levels. ...
Chapter
Although most social network research in organizations has focused on positive and neutral social relationships between employees and their importance for bringing together individuals and supporting organizational functioning, there has been a growing interest in understanding the origins and effects of negative relationships, such as interpersonal disliking, conflict, avoidance, harming, and undermining in organizations. This chapter provides a review of intra-organizational negative tie research over the past quarter century. First, the tripartite model of interpersonal attitudes is employed to create a typology of negative tie definitions and operationalizations, based on whether they tap into interpersonal affect, behavior, or cognition. In the second part, existing research findings on the antecedents and consequences of negative ties at the individual, dyadic, and group levels are discussed. Finally, the chapter provides suggestions for future research directions on negative ties and signed graphs in organizations.
... Over the past two decades, network research in German-speaking countries has focused on anumber of special sociologies:media sociology(cf., e.g., Stegbauer,2001;;2 018), economic sociology( cf., e.g., Hillmann and Aven, 2011;K renn, 2012; Heibergera nd Riebling,2016a), the sociologyofwork (cf., e.g., Sattler and Diewald, 2010;Lutter,2013;Ellwardt, Steglich, and Wittek, 2012), organizational sociology(cf., e.g., Häußling, 2015;Hasse, ORGANIZATION,this volume), gerontology(cf., e.g., Ellwardt, Aartsen, and van Tilburg, 2017;H öpflinger, DEMOGRAPHYAND AGING, this volume), migration research (cf., e.g., Gamper,2011;Herz, 2014;Windzio, 2018), and science and technologystudies (cf., e.g., Heidler,2011;Helbing and Grund, 2013;Weyer, 2014;Edelmann, Moody, and Light,2 017;Ahrweiler,2 017;Häußling, 2008;. Dealing with all of these studies individuallywould go beyond the scope of this overview article. ...
Chapter
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This article outlines network research in German-speaking countries since the turn of the millennium. After briefly clarifying what is meant by network research in this context, it provides a short retrospective of German-language sociology’s contributions to network research in the previous century. It then focuses on the sociopolitical activities of sociological network research in German-speaking countries over the past 20 years. German-language network research exhibits two unique features in international comparison: a far-reaching debate on qualitative methods in network research (Section 4) and a theoretical debate on what has been coined relational sociology (Section 5). The article goes on to outline the contributions of network research to special sociologies in Section 6. Section 7 deals with the applications and developments of special methods of network research. The article ends with an outlook on the future of network research.
... Each participant was provided with a copy of the roster listing all members of his or her squad, and was asked to describe his or her relationship with each squad member on a 5-point scale: 0 = not at all a friend, 1 = not really a friend, 2 = friend, 3 = close friend, and 4 = best friends. This scale was dichotomized to indicate the presence or absence of friendship ties: 0 = values less than 3 and 1 = values greater than or equal to 3 (see Ellwardt et al., 2012;Selfhout et al., 2010). The average response rate was 91%. ...
Article
The role of group bonding (friendship ties among group members) and the relationships between group members and the formal leader in the prediction of effectiveness was studied. A theoretical mediated-moderation process model was tested. The model was examined through a longitudinal research with 91 natural groups, that included social network analysis to capture the relationship between group members and a leadership differentiation measure to revel their relationship with the leader. As hypothesized, group bonding predicted group effectiveness, group cohesion mediated only one dimension of group effectiveness, and leadership differentiation moderated this process.
... For example, organizational network studies often aim to understand the impact of structural factors on outcomes of interest such as job satisfaction, task performance and leader reputation (Mehra et al., 2006;Sykes and Venkatesh, 2017). Such research questions require detailed data collection at individual level, such as subjective judgments of peers, which may be sensitive in nature, such as trust (Lusher et al., 2012), negative ties (Marineau et al., 2016), and gossiping (Ellwardt et al., 2012), and allow managerial actions which may be subject to misinterpretation or even abuse. ...
Article
Reflecting on the compilation and analysis of a range of network datasets drawn from our own work and some prominent examples, we consider the ethical challenges in dealing with network data in business and management settings. We argue that the managerial processes that characterize such settings introduce particular ethical sensitivities in the stages of commissioning and research design, and when collecting, analyzing and reporting network data. These sensitivities arise from the imperatives of business, motivations for commissioning network analyses and the legal authority that managers have over employees. We argue that ethical considerations are much more pervasive in business and management network research than in many other fields. In this contribution, we present a range of ethical challenges in network research in business and management settings that arise at several stages of the research process. For each issue identified, we describe the ethical problem and propose mitigation remedies. From this reflection, we suggest guidelines for other researchers to consider when designing research projects in this application area.
... With respect to statistical power, a small network size is not unusual for the social network analysis (e.g., Block, Heathcote, & Burnett Heyes, 2018;Ellwardt et al., 2012). However, the statistical power of longitudinal whole-network studies is not directly equivalent to that of conventional studies . ...
Article
International education provides students with an opportunity to develop new social networks while they fit in to the new culture. In a three-wave longitudinal study, we investigated how social networks and psychological adjustment coevolve within a group of international students enrolled in a coursework degree at the tertiary level. Using the Stochastic Actor-Oriented Model (SAOM), we identified the occurrences of social selection based on the levels of psychological and sociocultural adjustment. More specifically, students tended to deselect classmates who were dissimilar in their level of psychological adjustment and to befriend those who differed in their levels of sociocultural adjustment. In contrast, little evidence was found to suggest that features of social networks influenced students’ adjustment. Potential applications of this new method to future acculturation research are suggested.
... Our observations and the data from reflexive meetings allowed us to identify these strategies, and to see how these strategies work and affect C&C in everyday care. For example, small talk often is regarded as irrelevant, and a way to avoid silences, but it can positively influence C&C [29]. Our findings confirm the relevance of these irrelevancies by showing how small talk and other informal strategies facilitated "bonding" among parents and professionals and "reduced stress" of caregiving and care receiving, and thereby enhanced connecting. ...
Article
Background: Research on maternity care often focuses on factors that prevent good communication and collaboration and rarely includes important stakeholders - parents - as co-researchers. To understand how professionals and parents in Dutch maternity care accomplish constructive communication and collaboration, we examined their interactions in the clinic, looking for "good practice". Methods: We used the video-reflexive ethnographic method in 9 midwifery practices and 2 obstetric units. Findings: We conducted 16 meetings where participants reflected on video recordings of their clinical interactions. We found that informal strategies facilitate communication and collaboration: "talk work" - small talk and humour - and "work beyond words" - familiarity, use of sight, touch, sound, and non-verbal gestures. When using these strategies, participants noted that it is important to be sensitive to context, to the values and feelings of others, and to the timing of care. Our analysis of their ways of being sensitive shows that good communication and collaboration involves "paradoxical care", e.g., concurrent acts of "regulated spontaneity" and "informal formalities". Discussion: Acknowledging and reinforcing paradoxical care skills will help caregivers develop the competencies needed to address the changing demands of health care. The video-reflexive ethnographic method offers an innovative approach to studying everyday work, focusing on informal and implicit aspects of practice and providing a bottom up approach, integrating researchers, professionals and parents. Conclusion: Good communication and collaboration in maternity care involves "paradoxical care" requiring social sensitivity and self-reflection, skills that should be included as part of professional training.
... The students formed friendships in line with common social network features including reciprocity and triadic closure, as shown in Table 5.4. Similar to previous studies (Ellwardt, Steglich, & Wittek, 2012;Kiuru, Burk, Laursen, Salmela-Aro, & Nurmi, 2010;Knecht, Burk, Weesie, & Steglich, 2011), gifted adolescents formed reciprocated friendship ties and cohesive peer group structures even within a short period of 3 weeks. ...
Article
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The current study's purpose is to explore the influence of peer‐perceived creativity (sociometric creativity) on the short‐term development of friendships during a summer program for high ability students. Specifically, the two main objectives of our study are: (1) How did students' friendships network and sociometric creativity network evolve in the summer program? (2) How did sociometric creativity influence the friendship formation? The longitudinal study was conducted at the beginning, middle and the end of a 3‐week long program for gifted students in Ireland. The sample consisted of Irish gifted students (N = 702, aged 13–18 years, 52% female, over thirty‐one classes). Overall, our longitudinal multilevel and multigroup social network analysis shows that gifted adolescents formed reciprocated friendship ties and cohesive peer group structures in the investigated period; similar age and the same gender predicted friendship formation. Regarding the sociometric creativity, they tended to nominate a similar age and same gender student as very creative. Moreover, the sociometric creativity positively influenced adolescents' friendship networks on a dyadic level, indicating that adolescents select friends based on their perception of the other student's creativity. Further results, explanations, and implications are discussed.
... Thus, having a shared negative position (being disliked or victimized) among classmates may facilitate defending between students. This is also in line with the finding that two people with the same negative opinion (dislike or gossip) about someone else have a positive attitude toward each other (Ellwardt et al., 2012;Oldenburg et al., 2018;Rambaran et al., 2015). ...
Article
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This study investigates the extent to which defending victims of bullying depends on liking and disliking and its relation with the classroom bullying norm (descriptive and popularity) in a sample of 1,272 students (50.8% boys) in 48 fifth-grade classrooms. Social network analysis with bivariate exponential random graph modelings showed that children are more likely to defend victims whom they like, who like them, and who are liked by the same classmates than victims who they dislike, who dislike them, and with whom they share antipathies by and to the same classmates. In addition, the analysis showed that bullying norms had an inconclusive effect on the relation between defending and (dis)liking.
... Similar relational benefits have been found with gossip, whereby actors build stronger positive relationships by gossiping about a common target. Using a longitudinal social network design, Ellwardt, Steglich, and Wittek (2012) found that the gossip network tie between two individuals promoted the formation of their friendship tie over time. Likewise, Peters, Jetten, Radova, and Austin (2017) found that when gossiping about a third person's deviant behavior, actors developed a stronger social bond between themselves. ...
Article
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Negative workplace behavior has received substantial research attention over the past several decades. Although we have learned a lot about the consequences of negative behavior for its victims and third-party observers, a less understood but equally important research question pertains to the consequences for bad actors: How does engaging in negative behavior impact one’s thoughts, feelings, and subsequent behaviors? Moreover, do organizational members experience costs or benefits from engaging in negative acts? We address these questions with an integrative review of empirical findings on various actor-centric consequences of a wide range of negative behaviors. We organize these findings into five dominant theoretical perspectives: affective, psychological-needs, relational, psychological-resources, and cognitive-dissonance perspectives. For each perspective, we provide an overview of the theoretical arguments, summarize findings of relevant studies underlying it, and discuss observed patterns and contradictory findings. By doing so, we provide a very tentative answer to our initial questions, contending that engaging in negative acts is a two-edged sword for actors and its costs seem to slightly prevail over its benefits. Nevertheless, we make this preliminary conclusion based upon an incomplete knowledge base. In order to further our understanding of actor-centric outcomes of negative behavior, we also identify several important research gaps and needed future research directions.
... Mao, 2006), and bureaucracy (H.-Y. Mao, Chen, & Hsieh, 2009) may hinder workplace friendship formation, sharing gossip seems to increase the likelihood of a future workplace friendship (Ellwardt, Steglich, & Wittek, 2012). Workplace friendship is related to positive organizational outcomes. ...
Article
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The job demands-resources model hypothesizes work engagement’s positive mediating effects between job resources and positive outcomes; its mediating effects between job resources and negative outcomes have rarely been examined. We propose workplace friendship and trust in the leader as job resources and turnover intention as a negative outcome and hypothesize that workplace friendship and trust in the leader will positively predict work engagement, and that work engagement will negatively predict turnover intention. To test our hypotheses, we conducted a study among 166 bank tellers in Bangkok, Thailand using a questionnaire survey. Regression analysis with bootstrapping was used to test the hypotheses and the mediation model. The hypotheses and the model were supported. The results of our study provide support for the job demands-resources model and suggest for the bank management the advisement of encouraging friendship among bank tellers and cultivating their trust in the managers.
... Three studies investigate the joint evolution of multiple networks. In one study, Ellwardt, Steglich, and Wittek (2012) investigated the coevolution of friendship and gossip networks, using data from a medium-sized Dutch nonprofit organization. Whereas the formation of gossiping ties facilitates friendship formation between employees, the authors did not find support that friendship ties led to new gossip ties. ...
Article
Social networks are dynamic by nature. While network research has tended to treat relationships between social actors as static, the past decades have seen a surge in literature that extends a dynamic lens to the study of intra-organizational networks. Critically, to date there is no comprehensive and systematic review of intra-organizational network dynamics studies. Moreover, the field lacks programmatic coherence, clear and consistent terminology, and methodological clarity. This review attempts to resolve these issues. To foster a common language, we start by providing an integrative definition and clarifying the scope of intra- organizational network dynamics. This allows us to distinguish four domains of dynamic network theorizing. Building on this, we develop an encompassing framework that maps the multiple facets of this literature and apply it to organize our summary and synthesis. We then take a bird’s-eye view of the full body of research and discuss four foundational areas in which network dynamics research can be conceptually and methodologically extended. We end by elaborating on the issue of interdependence in network data and providing an overview of the leading statistical approaches for modelling longitudinal network data.
... Furthermore, the results show that employees make many friends when working at the amusement park. The finding is partially consistent with the findings of Ellwardt et al. (2012) that part-time employees possess better workplace social networks than full-time employees. Their workplace friendships are built based on the social interactions of their time together. ...
... Gossip is certainly more than just a form of informal punishment or a deterrence device to avoid free riding. It has been shown that gossip could harmonize the relationship between the sender and the receiver and strengthen their social bonding [58]. This way, gossip has a similar affiliative impact among humans [59,60] as social interactions in other species such as social play [61], sensitive touch [62], food sharing [63], gestural modality [64] and grooming [65][66][67], which provide necessary preconditions for cooperation in a situation with conflict, such as mobilization against external or internal threats. ...
Article
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Gossip is believed to be an informal device that alleviates the problem of cooperation in humans. Communication about previous acts and passing on reputational information could be valuable for conditional action in cooperation problems and pose a punishment threat to defectors. It is an open question, however, what kind of mechanisms can make gossip honest and credible and reputational information reliable, especially if intense competition for reputations does not exclusively dictate passing on honest information. We propose two mechanisms that could support the honesty and credibility of gossip under such a conflict of interest. One is the possibility of voluntary checks of received evaluative information from different sources and the other is social bonding between the sender and the receiver. We tested the efficiency of cross-checking and social bonding in a laboratory experiment where subjects played the Prisoner's Dilemma with gossip interactions. Although individuals had confidence in gossip in both conditions, we found that, overall, neither the opportunities for cross-checking nor bonding were able to maintain cooperation. Meanwhile, strong competition for reputation increased cooperation when individuals' payoffs depended greatly on their position relative to their rivals. Our results suggest that intense competition for reputation facilitates gossip functioning as an informal device promoting cooperation. This article is part of the theme issue ‘The language of cooperation: reputation and honest signalling’.
... To calculate the network metrics used in equation (1), responses to questions 10 to 13, originally provided on a 5-point scale, were dichotomized such that 0 was assigned to responses with scores 1 and 2, and 1 to responses with scores 3, 4 and 5. The same cut-off criterion was adopted in other SNA studies (Ellwardt et al., 2012;Everett and Borgatti, 1999 Mascia et al., 2011), and it aims at highlighting the most important interactions between players. ...
Article
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Although resilience benefits from social interactions, there is a gap regarding the identification of key players that contribute to it. This study uses social network analysis (SNA) to identify those players based on the modeling of interactions associated with four abilities of resilient systems: monitor, anticipate, respond, and learn. Networks are developed for each ability, and a score is proposed for each player, combining five indicators theoretically connected to resilience: in-degree, closeness, and betweenness, which are derived from SNA, and availability and reliability, which are non-network attributes assessed through Likert-style questions. The proposal was implemented using data on 133 professionals from an intensive care unit. Five semi-structured interviews supported the interpretation of survey data and analysis of contextual factors. The ranking of key players varied across ability-based networks, and none of them excelled in all dimensions of the proposed score. The proposal bridges the gap between the role of individual players in work systems and system resilience. That occurs as the score, while being attributed to individual players, reflects their interactions with others. SNA is thus an effective analytical approach for dealing with the resilience engineering tension between individual performance and context.
... In trying to understand the co-evolution of gossip and friendship in organizations, Ellwardt, Steglich, and Wittek [19] found that gossiping increases the likelihood of friendship (the evolutionary view) more than friendship facilitates gossiping (the social capital view). Nevertheless, there is a threshold beyond which gossips limit friendship formation as excessive gossipers are seen as undependable. ...
Thesis
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The thesis provides a mathematical framework for the psychology and sociology of information spread.
... Employees' perceptions of themselves as valuable members of their organization (i.e., insiders) can be linked to their distinct rewards and support (Armstrong-Stassen and Schlosser, 2011). Furthermore, speaking highly about benevolent action takers can help employees improve their reputations and meet their demand for status (Ellwardt et al., 2012). As a result, when employees perceive themselves as insiders due to their concern for the organization, they will plan to raise their own and others' positive work morale and esteem by distributing good news about their organization and supervisor. ...
Article
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This study aimed to unfold the implicit interplay of open innovation (OI) and perceived insider status (PIS) between the relationship of proactive personality (PP) and innovative work behavior (IWB). The phenomenon studied the moderated mediation of OI and PIS through the combined optic of the theory of innovation and the broaden-and-build theory. The nature of this study was post-positivist. The two-step approach of structural equation modeling was implemented. First, quantitative data were collected through an online questionnaire from the employees of IT industries in China. The study sample consisted of 460 responses used for data analysis in SPSS and AMOS version 26. This study was based on mediated moderation, which was statistically similar to Model 15 of the process macro. There were six hypotheses based on the theoretical framework. The result of H6 was rejected, which demonstrated that the conditional direct effect of OI and PIS mediated moderation on PP and IWB. The results comprehensively testified to the theoretical framework.
Article
This paper presents a meta-analysis on workplace gossip as a predictor of individual, relational, and organizational outcomes. Our systematic review yielded 52 independent studies ( n = 14,143). Results suggested that negative workplace gossip has a more deleterious association with workplace outcomes than positive gossip. Furthermore, findings indicated that negative gossip has a disproportionately negative association with attitudinal/affective outcomes and coworker relationships for targets of gossip. Unexpectedly, results also suggested that senders and recipients of negative gossip may also experience highly deleterious outcomes; in fact, the relations between negative gossip and well-being, engagement/performance, supervisor relationships, and organizational outcomes were more negative for gossip participants than targets, although the direction of causality for these relations has yet to be conclusively determined. Overall, our results suggest that organizations and managers should take seriously the threat of negative gossip to the health of the organization at large, while simultaneously leveraging the potential benefits of positive gossip. Plain Language Summary This paper presents a meta-analysis on the topic of workplace gossip as a predictor of work-relevant outcomes. Results—which were based on 52 independent studies that, in total, employed 14,143 independent research participants—suggested that negative workplace gossip has a worse impact on individual, relational, and organizational outcomes than positive gossip does. Furthermore, our findings indicated that targets of negative gossip experience the worst outcomes in terms of attitudes/affect and coworker relationships, when compared with the outcomes of individuals who exchanged the gossip. Unexpectedly, patterns of results also suggested that individuals who exchange negative gossip at work may also experience highly deleterious outcomes, although the direction of causality for these relations has yet to be conclusively determined. Overall, our results suggest that organizations and managers should take seriously the threat of negative gossip to the health of the organization at large, and may also be able to leverage the potentially beneficial effects of positive gossip. We conclude with a discussion of the implications of our results.
Article
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Brokerage is a central concept in the organization literature. It has been argued that individuals in broker positions-i.e., connecting otherwise disconnected parts within a firm's social network-can control the flow of information. It would imply their increased relevance in workplace gossip. This allegation, however, has not been addressed empirically yet. To fill this gap, we apply social network analysis techniques to relational data from six organizations in Hungary. First, we identify informal groups and individuals in broker positions. Then, we use this information to predict the likelihood with which positive or negative gossip is reported. We find more gossip when the sender and receiver are part of the same group and more positive gossip about in-group rather than out-group targets. Individuals in broker positions are more likely the senders and targets of negative gossip. Finally, even if both the brokers and the boss(es) are the targets of their colleagues' negative gossip, the combination of the two categories (bosses in broker positions) does not predict more negative gossip anymore. Results are discussed in relation to the theoretical accounts on brokerage that emphasize its power for information control but fail to recognize the pitfalls of being in such positions.
Article
Purpose Using the job–demands resources model as a guide, this study aims to expand the understanding of the boundary conditions of the relation between experienced incivility and instigated incivility. The authors do so by focusing on the unique forms of instigated incivility: hostility, gossip, exclusionary behavior and privacy invasion. Drawing from past research, the authors focus on the personal resources of agreeableness and conscientiousness as individual difference boundary conditions, and the job demands and resources of workload and perceived emotional social support, respectively, as job-related boundary conditions. Design/methodology/approach The authors test their hypotheses using two-wave survey data collected from 192 customer service workers and hierarchical moderated multiple regression. Findings Analyses reveal that the relation between experienced incivility and gossip, a distinct type of instigated incivility, is stronger for those who are higher in agreeableness and perceived emotional social support, and weaker for those who report experiencing higher levels of workload. Originality/value This research advances knowledge on incivility by focusing on unique forms of instigated incivility, as opposed to instigated incivility broadly, as outcomes of experienced incivility. In doing so, this research adds nuance to recent findings surrounding the moderating role of personality in the experienced incivility and instigated incivility relation. The authors also report novel findings surrounding the influence of key job demands and resources.
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The social embeddedness perspective highlights that socially embedded dyads are more cooperative than dyads that are not embedded by common third parties. Going beyond the traditional emphasis on number of third parties, our study examines which third parties are more influential in promoting cooperation in interdepartmental dyads. Based on the logic of dependence from interdependence theory, we show that providers are more cooperative to recipients when third party friends have more organizational knowledge to offer socio‐emotional support to providers, but this effect is reduced when providers themselves have more organizational knowledge. Third party influence is also marginally attenuated when providers have a larger circle of friends. Overall, our findings advance the social embeddedness perspective by instilling a greater appreciation for dyad member’s dependence upon the third party in explaining third party influence on cooperation.
Article
This research explored children's attitudes towards gossipers in relation to gossip valence. Four‐ to 8‐year‐old children (N = 214) read three storybooks containing positive, neutral, or negative gossip statements. Following each book, children were interviewed on whom they viewed as nicer and more honest (ascription of desirable traits), whom they preferred to interact with (social preference), and whom they thought had more friends (perceived popularity), by choosing between a gossiper and a non‐gossiping character. The results indicated that overall, children held more favourable attitudes towards gossipers who made positive than negative or neutral statements about a target. This effect of gossip valence was more pronounced for 6‐ to 8‐year‐olds than for the younger children on the ascription of desirable traits. The findings will add to our understanding of how gossip serves as a source of social influence on children, and may have real‐world implications with regard to children's peer interactions in school context. Highlights • This research explored children's attitudes toward gossipers in relation to gossip valence. • Four‐ to 8‐year‐olds held more favorable attitudes toward gossipers who made positive than negative or neutral statements about a target. • The findings may have real‐world implications with regard to children's social perception and peer interactions in school context.
Article
This article seeks to reflect on the social implications of gossip, a fundamental problem for a complete understanding of social interactions. Based on a qualitative study that investigated gossip in three social groups, starts a discussion of this social phenomenon, aiming to (dis) construct (pre) concepts, analyze its factors, paradoxes, its dynamics, components and social functions. It becomes crucial to understand the characteristics and implications of gossips given their influence in modeling social relations.
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Örgütsel iletişim içerisinde resmi olmayan bir unsur olarak değerlendirilen dedikodu, Covid-19 Salgını sürecinde dijital ortamlarda veya dijital araçlarla gerçekleştirilen sanal dedikodu türüyle karşımıza çıkmaktadır. Toplumsal hayat içerisindeki tüm örgütleri doğrudan veya dolaylı olarak etkileyen Covid-19 Salgını, üniversitelerde gerçekleştirilen eğitim ve öğretim faaliyetlerinin de dijital ortama taşınmasını zorunlu kılmıştır. Görev ve sorumluluklarını çoğunlukla evlerinden gerçekleştiren akademisyenler hem öğrencileriyle hem de iş arkadaşlarıyla dijital araçlar vasıtasıyla iletişim kurmuştur. Dijital iletişimin ön plana çıktığı Covid-19 Salgını sürecinde sanal dedikoduyu konu edinen bu çalışmada nitel araştırma yöntemi kullanılmıştır. Veri toplama sürecinde yarı yapılandırılmış görüşme tekniğinin kullanıldığı bu çalışma kapsamında 15 akademisyenin düşüncelerine başvurulmuştur. Elde edilen bulgular, akademisyenlerin sanal dedikodunun varlığını kabul ettiklerini ve farklı sosyo-psikolojik ihtiyaçlardan dolayı örgütsel iletişim sürecinde sanal dedikoduyu kullandıklarını göstermektedir. Araştırma sonuçlarına göre, Covid-19 Salgını sürecinde yüz yüze iletişimin yerini dijital araç ve ortamlarla yapılan iletişim alırken yüz yüze gerçekleştirilen dedikodunun yerini ise sanal dedikodunun aldığı görülmektedir. Ayrıca bu araştırmada, sanal dedikodunun bireysel ve örgütsel boyutlarıyla farklı etkilerinin olduğu sonucuna ulaşılmıştır. Gossip, which is considered as an informal element in organizational communication, appears in the form of virtual gossip carried out in digital environments or with digital tools during the Covid-19 Pandemic process. The Covid-19 Pandemic, which directly or indirectly affects all organizations in social life, has made it necessary to transfer the education and teaching activities carried out at universities to the digital environment. Academics who perform their duties and responsibilities mostly from home have communicated with both their students and colleagues through digital tools. In this study, the qualitative method was used, which made virtual gossip the subject of the Covid-19 Pandemic process, in which digital communication came to the fore. As part of the study, which used the semi-structured interview technique in the data collection process, the thoughts of 15 academics were applied. The findings show that academics accept the existence of virtual gossip and use virtual gossip in the organizational communication process due to different socio-psychological needs. According to research results, in the process of the Covid-19 Pandemic, face-to-face communication was replaced by digital tools and media, while face-to-face gossip was replaced by virtual gossip. In addition, in this study, it was concluded that virtual gossip has different effects with its individual and organizational dimensions.
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This article describes and discusses challenges associated with interventionist network data gathering in organizational settings, with a special focus on dyadic interventions. While pointing out major risks of these approaches, we argue that collecting data in combination with dyadic network alteration methods can enable social network researchers to explore network mechanisms from a new angle and potentially benefit the members of the targeted social networks and the entire collectives, if certain research design and implementation principles are followed. We introduce a facilitated self-disclosure method for strengthening critical dyads in social networks in combination with longitudinal and retrospective network measurement. We assess the participants’ perceptions of the different stages of this process by qualitative interviews. The study illustrates that experimental network data collection includes some extra challenges in addition to the many challenges of observational network data collection but participants also reported practical benefits that would not be gained through observational network surveys alone. The results highlight the importance of early and continuous communication during the data collection process with all research participants, not just the management, and the benefits of sharing more of the preliminary results. The lessons learnt through this study can inform the design of experimental network data collection to prioritize the preferences of the participants and their benefits.
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Much research in network analysis of adolescent friendships assumes that friendships represent liking and social interaction, friendships are directed, and friendships are equivalent to one another. This study investigates the meaning of friendship for eight diverse cohorts of sixth graders. Analysis of focus group and survey data suggests that these adolescents construe friendship as a multidimensional role relation composed primarily of relational norms, expectations for mutual behavior. Their friendship definitions may also include mutual liking and interaction, and other structural expectations such as reciprocity, homophily, and transitivity. Lastly, boys and girls weight these dimensions differently in defining friendship.
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Objectives Understanding if police malfeasance might be “contagious” is vital to identifying efficacious paths to police reform. Accordingly, we investigate whether an officer’s propensity to engage in misconduct is associated with her direct, routine interaction with colleagues who have themselves engaged in misbehavior in the past. Methods Recognizing the importance of analyzing the actual social networks spanning a police force, we use data on collaborative responses to 1,165,136 “911” calls for service by 3475 Dallas Police Department (DPD) officers across 2013 and 2014 to construct daily networks of front-line interaction. And we relate these cooperative networks to reported and formally sanctioned misconduct on the part of the DPD officers during the same time period using repeated-events survival models. Results Estimates indicate that the risk of a DPD officer engaging in misconduct is not associated with the disciplined misbehavior of her ad hoc, on-the-scene partners. Rather, a greater risk of misconduct is associated with past misbehavior, officer-specific proneness, the neighborhood context of patrol, and, in some cases, officer race, while departmental tenure is a mitigating factor. Conclusions Our observational findings—based on data from one large police department in the United States—ultimately suggest that actor-based and ecological explanations of police deviance should not be summarily dismissed in favor of accounts emphasizing negative socialization, where our study design also raises the possibility that results are partly driven by unobserved trait-based variation in the situations that officers find themselves in. All in all, interventions focused on individual officers, including the termination of deviant police, may be fruitful for curtailing police misconduct—where early interventions focused on new offenders may be key to avoiding the escalation of deviance.
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Gossip is a pervasive phenomenon in organizations causing many individuals to have second-hand information about their colleagues. However, whether it is used to inform friendship choices (i.e., friendship creation, friendship maintenance, friendship discontinuation) is not that evident. This paper articulates and empirically tests a complex contagion model to explain how gossip, through its reputational effects, can affect the evolution of friendship ties. We argue that hearing gossip from more than a single sender (and about several targets) impacts receivers’ friendships with the gossip targets. Hypotheses are tested in a two-wave sociometric panel study among 148 employees in a Dutch childcare organization. Stochastic actor-oriented models reveal positive gossip favors receiver-target friendships, whereas negative gossip inhibits them. We also find evidence supporting that, for damaging relationships, negative gossip needs to originate in more than a single sender. Positive gossip about a high number of targets discourages friendships with colleagues in general, while negative gossip about many targets produces diverging trends. Overall, the study demonstrates that second-hand information influences the evolution of expressive relations. It also underscores the need to refine and extend current theorizing concerning the multiple (and potentially competing) psychological mechanisms causing some of the observed effects.
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Three hypotheses about the effects of different informal social network structures on gossip behavior are developed and tested. Gossip is defined as a conversation about a third person who is not participating in the conversation. Having analyzed the costs and benefits of gossip, we prefer the coalition hypothesis. It states that gossip will flourish in social networks that have a relatively large number of coalition triads, that is ego and alter having a good relationship amongst themselves and both having a bad relationship with tertius, the object of gossip. Two rivalling hypotheses are developed. The constraint hypothesis predicts that the inclination towards gossip is greater, the larger the number of structural holes in the personal network of the gossipmonger. The closure hypothesis predicts that more gossip will be found in networks with a large number of closed triads, that is where both gossipmonger and listener have a good relationship with the absent third person. The hypotheses are tested using a newly developed instrument to measure gossip behavior and network data from six work organizations and six school classes. The data support the coalition hypothesis and do not support the two rivalling hypotheses.
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This study introduces the concept of group social capital, which is the configuration of group members' social relationships within a group and in the social structure of a broader organization, and tests the proposition that group effectiveness is maximized via optimal configurations of different conduits for such capital. These conduits include intragroup closure relationships and bridging relationships that span vertical and horizontal intergroup boundaries. Results from our 60-team field study of informal socializing ties provide empirical support.
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This study explored the relationships between potential organizational power, viewed as structural position, and the use of power through behavioral tactics. Results indicate that structural position, measured as an individual's network centrality and level in the organizational hierarchy, and behavior-use of assertiveness, ingratiation, exchange, upward appeal, rationality, and coalition formation-relate independently and significantly to others' perceptions of the individual's power. In addition, structure partially mediated the relationship between behavior and power, and the behavioral strategies partially mediated the structure-power relationship. Significant interaction effects were also found.
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[the author's] thesis is that the activity we sometimes describe as gossip . . . is fundamental to the functioning of all human collectives / the functions . . . concern the successful adaptation of humans to the requirements of group living and the control mechanisms that operate to conserve effectively functioning human groups / central to these functions are what may be called reputational processes far from being a trivial and superficial activity that appeals only to shallow and idle minds, gossip is intelligent action / it is a complex and sophisticated instrument of adaptation / gossip is a powerful process in the politics of everyday life (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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[examines] the reliability and validity of [the] Gossip Tendency Questionnaire (GTQ) / [also] addressed 4 specific hypotheses: there are individual differences in the tendency to gossip; . . . there is a negative relationship between social desirability and the tendency to report gossip; there are gender differences in tendency to gossip, with women tending to gossip more than men [and] those with vocational interests in people-oriented professions tend to gossip more than those with vocational interest in other fields / two samples were used / sample A was made up of 30 members of a kibbutz in northern Israel [male and female 20–30 yr olds] / sample B consisted of 120 students [aged 19–30 yrs] at the Technion and the University of Haifa our preliminary results suggest that the tendency to gossip is a personal trait distributed normally among the population tested / the GTQ was validated . . . and we can conclude that we succeeded in operationalizing the personal tendency to gossip (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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Conversation is a uniquely human phenomenon. Analyses of freely forming conversations indicate that approximately two thirds of conversation time is devoted to social topics, most of which can be given the generic label gossip. This article first explores the origins of gossip as a mechanism for bonding social groups, tracing these origins back to social grooming among primates. It then asks why social gossip in this sense should form so important a component of human interaction and presents evidence to suggest that, aside from servicing social networks, a key function may be related explicitly to controlling free riders. Finally, the author reviews briefly the role of social cognition in facilitating conversations of this kind. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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Two experiments tested hypotheses about gossip derived from an evolutionary perspective. In the first experiment, 128 people ranging in age from 17 to 62 years ranked the interest value of 12 tabloid stories about celebrities differing in age and gender. In the second experiment, 83 college students ranked the interest value and likelihood of spreading gossip about male or female professors, relatives, friends, acquaintances, or strangers based on 12 different gossip scenarios. The results of these experiments confirmed a consistent pattern of interest in gossip marked by a preference for information about others of the same age and gender. Exploitable information in the form of damaging, negative news about nonallies and positive news about allies was especially prized and likely to be passed on. The findings confirm that gossip can serve as a strategy of status enhancement and function in the interests of individuals, and that it does not just function as a means of social control within groups.
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How do criminals communicate with each other? Unlike the rest of us, people planning crimes can't freely advertise their goods and services, nor can they rely on formal institutions to settle disputes and certify quality. They face uniquely intense dilemmas as they grapple with the basic problems of whom to trust, how to make themselves trusted, and how to handle information without being detected by rivals or police. In this book, one of the world's leading scholars of the mafia ranges from ancient Rome to the gangs of modern Japan, from the prisons of Western countries to terrorist and pedophile rings, to explain how despite these constraints, many criminals successfully stay in business.Diego Gambetta shows that as villains balance the lure of criminal reward against the fear of dire punishment, they are inspired to unexpected feats of subtlety and ingenuity in communication. He uncovers the logic of the often bizarre ways in which inveterate and occasional criminals solve their dilemmas, such as why the tattoos and scars etched on a criminal's body function as lines on a professional r sum , why inmates resort to violence to establish their position in the prison pecking order, and why mobsters are partial to nicknames and imitate the behavior they see in mafia movies. Even deliberate self-harm and the disclosure of their crimes are strategically employed by criminals to convey important messages.By deciphering how criminals signal to each other in a lawless universe, this gruesomely entertaining and incisive book provides a quantum leap in our ability to make sense of their actions.
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This article investigates, for leadership research, the implications of new directions in social network theory that emphasize networks as both cognitive structures in the minds of organizational members and opportunity structures that facilitate and constrain action. We introduce the four core ideas at the heart of the network research program: The importance of relations, actors' embeddedness, the social utility of connections, and the structural patterning of social life. Then we present a theoretical model of how network cognitions in the minds of leaders affect three types of networks: The direct ties surrounding leaders, the pattern of direct and indirect ties within which leaders are embedded in the whole organization and the interorganizational linkages formed by leaders as representatives of organizations. We suggest that these patterns of ties can contribute to leader effectiveness.
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This article presents a model of the use of communication about personal experience or experiences of third parties (gossip) in the context of cooperation. To date, previous research on the effect of gossip on cooperation has focused primarily on the manipulation of reputations. We present a formal model of vicarious information transfer, as a social learning strategy, between (potential) cooperative and competitive group members. We build on theories that have shown how effective communication can solve the adaptive problem of the high costs of individual learning. By communicating about the strategies of others, individuals can vicariously learn at faster rates and lower cost. The costs and benefits of social versus individual learning have been modeled extensively. In this article, we focus on the unexplored and more basic question of when an individual should initiate the sharing of vicarious information that can potentially affect the fitness of a cooperative or competitive receiver.
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Gossip is informal talking about colleagues. Taking a social network perspective, we argue that group boundaries and social status in the informal workplace network determine who the objects of positive and negative gossip are. Gossip networks were collected among 36 employees in a public child care organization, and analyzed using exponential random graph modeling (ERGM). As hypothesized, both positive and negative gossip focuses on colleagues from the own gossiper's work group. Negative gossip is relatively targeted, with the objects being specific individuals, particularly those low in informal status. Positive gossip, in contrast, is spread more evenly throughout the network.
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this paper is to show how the trust association with network closure is more complex, and decidedly less salutary, than argued in closure models of social capital. Building on earlier work (Burt and Knez 1995; Burt 1999a), my argument is framed with respect to two hypotheses describing how closure affects the flow of information in a network. What I will discuss as a bandwidth hypothesis presumed in closure models of social capital and in related work such as reputation models in economics says that network closure enhances information flow. The echo hypothesis based on the social psychology of selective disclosure in informal conversations says that closed networks do not enhance information flow so much as they create an echo that reinforces predispositions. Information obtained in casual conversations is more redundant than personal experience but not properly discounted, which creates an erroneous sense of certainty. Interpersonal evaluations are amplified to positive and negative extremes. Favorable opinion is amplified into trust. Doubt is amplified into distrust. In Section 1, I summarize as a baseline model the dyadic exchange theory of trust production that ignores social context. Bandwidth and echo hypotheses are introduced in Section 2 as contextual extensions of the baseline. In Section 3, I use network data on three study populations to illustrate contradiction between the hypotheses and empirical support for echo over bandwidth. My summary conclusion in Section 4 is that network closure does not facilitate trust so Bandwidth and Echo, Page 3 much as it amplifies predispositions, creating a structural arthritis in which people cannot learn what they do not already know. 1. TRUST WITHOUT CONTEXT: BASELINE HYPOTHESIS Take as the unit of analysis the relat...
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Résumé: Les criminologues ont tendance à croire que les amis adoptent des comportements délinquants relativement similaires. Toutefois, on ne comprend pas bien la raison de cette similarité. On ne sait pas si elle provient d’une sélection ou d’un processus d’influence. Dans l’article, on explore ce sujet à l’aide de données longitudinales sur les réseaux d’amitiés entre étudiants et les comportements délinquants observés dans seize écoles secondaires hollandaises (n =859). Aux fins d’analyse, on s’est servi de SIENA, une technique permettant l’analyse simultanée de la dynamique des réseaux et des comportements. Selon une méta-analyse, l’influence est un processus général qui ne varie pas d’une école à l’autre, tandis que la sélection a joué un rôle dans seulement 4 des 16 écoles. Abstract: Criminologists tend to assume that friends are fairly similar in their delinquent behaviours. However, the process leading to this similarity is not fully understood. It is not clear whether similarity in delinquent behaviour among friends is the result of a xselection-or of an influence process. In this article, we investigate this issue using longitudinal data on students’ friendship networks and their delinquent behaviour in 16 Dutch high schools (n =859). For the analysis, we made use of SIENA, a technique for the simultaneous analysis of the dynamics of both networks and behaviour. A meta-analysis showed influence to be a general process without variation over the schools, while selection played a role in only 4 of the 16 schools.
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• As the title suggests, this book examines the psychology of interpersonal relations. In the context of this book, the term "interpersonal relations" denotes relations between a few, usually between two, people. How one person thinks and feels about another person, how he perceives him and what he does to him, what he expects him to do or think, how he reacts to the actions of the other--these are some of the phenomena that will be treated. Our concern will be with "surface" matters, the events that occur in everyday life on a conscious level, rather than with the unconscious processes studied by psychoanalysis in "depth" psychology. These intuitively understood and "obvious" human relations can, as we shall see, be just as challenging and psychologically significant as the deeper and stranger phenomena. The discussion will center on the person as the basic unit to be investigated. That is to say, the two-person group and its properties as a superindividual unit will not be the focus of attention. Of course, in dealing with the person as a member of a dyad, he cannot be described as a lone subject in an impersonal environment, but must be represented as standing in relation to and interacting with another person. The chapter topics included in this book include: Perceiving the Other Person; The Other Person as Perceiver; The Naive Analysis of Action; Desire and Pleasure; Environmental Effects; Sentiment; Ought and Value; Request and Command; Benefit and Harm; and Reaction to the Lot of the Other Person. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved) • As the title suggests, this book examines the psychology of interpersonal relations. In the context of this book, the term "interpersonal relations" denotes relations between a few, usually between two, people. How one person thinks and feels about another person, how he perceives him and what he does to him, what he expects him to do or think, how he reacts to the actions of the other--these are some of the phenomena that will be treated. Our concern will be with "surface" matters, the events that occur in everyday life on a conscious level, rather than with the unconscious processes studied by psychoanalysis in "depth" psychology. These intuitively understood and "obvious" human relations can, as we shall see, be just as challenging and psychologically significant as the deeper and stranger phenomena. The discussion will center on the person as the basic unit to be investigated. That is to say, the two-person group and its properties as a superindividual unit will not be the focus of attention. Of course, in dealing with the person as a member of a dyad, he cannot be described as a lone subject in an impersonal environment, but must be represented as standing in relation to and interacting with another person. The chapter topics included in this book include: Perceiving the Other Person; The Other Person as Perceiver; The Naive Analysis of Action; Desire and Pleasure; Environmental Effects; Sentiment; Ought and Value; Request and Command; Benefit and Harm; and Reaction to the Lot of the Other Person. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
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Gossip in the workplace has generally been ignored by researchers and often criticized by practitioners. The authors apply a transdisciplinary evolutionary approach to argue that gossip is a natural part of social organizations and that certain conditions can encourage socially-redeeming gossip. They draw on case studies involving cattle ranchers, members of a competitive rowing team, and airline company employees to juxtapose the nature and functions of gossip across a wide set of communities. They find that workplace gossip can serve positive functions when organizational rewards—measured in context-specific currencies—are fairly allocated at the level of small-scale groups rather than the level of individuals within groups. Given the diversity of their case studies, the authors are able to identify financial and nonfinancial rewards that facilitate group-serving gossip in different environments. Their findings make sense in light of an evolutionary perspective that recognizes similarities between the range of environments in which humans have primarily evolved and the workplace conditions that invite socially-redeeming gossip.
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Theory supporting the key premise of the leader-member exchange (LMX) approach to leadership, that leaders differentiate between subordinates, has not been fully developed. We address this deficiency by (a) returning LMX research to its historical roots in exchange processes by introducing a framework for understanding relationship quality that is based on reciprocity, and (b) extending the traditional domain of LMX research beyond the formal leader-subordinate relationship in order to offer a more complete explanation of the differentiation process. We employ insights derived from social network analysis to describe how social structure facilitates the exchange processes through which leaders assist in incorporating some members into the inner life of an organization but exclude others.
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The relationship between social networks and conflict in 20 organizational units was investigated. Results indicated that low-conflict organizations are characterized by higher numbers of intergroup strong ties, measured as frequent contacts, than are high-conflict organizations. Further, comparison of the network configuration of the organizations studied suggested that high- and low-conflict organizations feature significantly different sociometric structures. As a ubiquitous feature of social systems, intergroup conflict has been studied from a variety of perspectives with a wide array of methodologies. Exchange theory, game theory, Marxist and functionalist perspectives, and psychiatric and psychological approaches are all represented in the extant research. The different methodological approaches taken include laboratory experiments, survey research, and case and ethnological studies. Despite the considerable variety of approaches available, most studies are concentrated in a few traditional areas, although a number of promising new avenues await investigation. The present study followed one of those avenues by examining the relationship between social networks and conflict in organizations across 20 organizations. The bulk of empirical research on conflict in organizations has been micro in orientation, and experimental or quasiexperimental paradigms have predominated. Despite prominent psychologists' admission that studies of intergroup conflict need to consider structural variables (Alderfer & Smith, 1982; Billig, 1976; Ring, 1967; Steiner, 1974), most research has continued to focus on attitudes, traits, or interpersonal dynamics, with occasional work on ethnicity or organizational subunits. Consistent with this micro focus, empirical studies of conflict have been limited to people or groups within single organizations. To date, research analyzing antecedents or correlates of conflict across a sample of organizations has not taken place. This lack limits theoretical knowledge as well as practical application because considering only one organization at a time makes it difficult to tell whether levels of conflict are comparatively high or
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Discusses friendship networks in terms of individual behavior, as an extension of work done by E. P. Zeggelink (1994), which introduced the individual-oriented approach to the evolution of networks. Friendship is considered to be a continuous combination between individual, relational, and environmental factors. The role of individual characteristics in the formation of friendship networks and a dynamic individual-oriented approach based on the principle of methodological individualism are described. The 2 determinants in the process of friendship formation are the need for social contact and the presence of similar others as friends. This approach views individuals as objects and explains the concept of friendship in terms of tension formation. The behavior of an individual will, thus, be aimed at reducing this tension, depending on one's capability of imagination, one's amount of information, and the set of allowable actions. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)