Gossip and Organizations: 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Gossip and Organizations

1st Edition

By Kathryn Waddington


212 pages | 12 B/W Illus.

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Gossip is a complex and ubiquitous phenomenon, widely found and variously practiced. Gossip and Organizations provides the reader with an analysis of gossip and informal knowledge across different national, organizational and cultural contexts, drawing upon empirical findings and the author's experiences of researching gossip in nursing and healthcare organizations and higher educational institutions. Kathryn Waddington aims to dispel once and for all the myth that women gossip and men have conversations, shattering the illusion that gossip at work is trivial talk.

This book challenges the assumption that gossip is a problem that should be discouraged. While there is undoubtedly a dark side to gossip, Kathryn Waddington argues that paying closer attention to gossip as organizational communication and knowledge enables exploration of other ways of seeing, interpreting and understanding organizations. Gossip is not merely an impediment of organizing, it is a form of organizing which shapes perceptions and actions, and can forewarn managers of future failure in organizational systems.

The complexity of gossip is such that a of range inter-disciplinary explanations is necessary in order to account for this form of communication and knowledge across multiple levels and spaces in and around organizations. Waddington provides a new evidence-based framework incorporating ethics, emotion, identity, sensemaking and power as a guide future research, theorizing and critical reflective and reflexive practice in the field of organizational gossip.


"This is an exciting and innovative book that makes a valuable contribution to our understanding of gossip in organizations." Andrew Brown (University of Bath, UK)

Table of Contents

1. Introduction 2. Organizing Gossip 3. Gossip and Ethics 4. Gossip and Emotion 5. Gossip and Identity 6. The Politics of Gossip 7. Sensemaking and the Management of Gossip 8. Future Directions. Appendix A. Appendix B. Notes. Bibliography. Index

About the Author

Kathryn Waddington is Reader and Head of the Department of Psychology at Westminster University, UK. She has a PhD in psychology from the University of London and her primary research interests are in organizational communication and knowledge, emotion, employee engagement and leadership.

About the Series

Routledge Studies in Management, Organizations and Society

Management, Organizations and Society represents innovative work grounded in new realities; addressing issues crucial to an understanding of the contemporary world. This is the world of organized societies, where boundaries between formal and informal, public and private, local and global organizations have been displaced or vanished along with other nineteenth century dichotomies and oppositions. Management, apart from becoming a specialised profession for a growing number of people, is an everyday activity for most members of modern societies. Management, Organizations and Society will address these contemporary dynamics of transformation in a manner that transcends disciplinary boundaries, with work which will appeal to researchers, students and practitioners alike.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Organizational Behavior
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Workplace Culture