It is Tough to Detach from Gossip: The Impact of Perceived Negative Workplace Gossip on Life Satisfaction

Jun Xie, Qihai Huang, Ming Yan, Yongyi Liang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Gossip is ubiquitous in organizations and human life. Previous research has examined the detrimental effects of negative workplace gossip on employees’ work-related outcomes. However, less attention has been devoted to how and when perceived negative workplace gossip affects the general well-being of targeted employees. Drawing on the social-evaluative threat literature and the stressor-detachment model, this study examines the effect of perceived negative workplace gossip on life satisfaction by investigating the mediating role of psychological detachment and the moderating role of family-supportive supervisor behaviors (FSSB). The results, based on a three-wave cross-lagged panel design survey, indicate that perceived negative workplace gossip is negatively related to psychological detachment, and perceived negative workplace gossip has an indirect effect on target employees’ life satisfaction through psychological detachment. Furthermore, FSSB negatively moderates the relationship between perceived negative workplace gossip and psychological detachment and the indirect effect of perceived negative workplace gossip on life satisfaction through psychological detachment. Understanding the implications of perceived negative workplace gossip and its underlying mechanisms can help organizations and employees effectively cope with this social-evaluative stressor.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)497-511
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Business and Psychology
Volume39
Issue number2
Early online date13 Jun 2023
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2024

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