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Internet-based digitalmarketing strategies fordata-rich environments: A social network perspective to study gossips

Faiqa Kiran (National College of Business Administration and Economics, Lahore, Pakistan)
Ahsan Zubair (Government College University, Faisalabad, Pakistan)
Irum Shahzadi (Department of Business Administration, Government College University, Faisalabad, Pakistan)
Aamir Abbas (University of Sargodha (Layallpur Campus), Faisalabad, Pakistan)

The Bottom Line

ISSN: 0888-045X

Article publication date: 7 June 2018

Issue publication date: 19 June 2018




The purpose of this paper is to first bring to light the essential digital strategies to study organizations. Second, how businesses can improve their strategic capabilities by using the information gathered from internet sources or networks. Third, this study investigates how employees in an organization tend to engage in positive and/or negative gossip and how gossips affect coworker-rated informal influence in organization and supervisor-rated performance. Social network analysis is used to find the underlying relationships between gossips, coworker-rated influence and supervisor-rated performance.


This research paper is divided into two parts. The first study based on profound synthesis of literature. Major digital sources to study organizations are identified. The strategies requirement for each channel is identified. Suggestions are given to managers to improve strategic decision-making based on big data. The second study is a cross-sectional study where questionnaires (survey) are used to elicit data. Social network analysis is used to analyze the data using ucinet 6 software.


The findings of the study pinpoint the skills required to analyze large data, available in organizations. The second study finds out that close friends are more engaged in gossips than coworkers who have only working relationships. The friends having high structural embeddedness are more likely to be involved in negative gossips. Coworker perceives those employees who are engaged in negative gossips as having high informal influence. However, there is negative relationship between negative gossips and supervisor-rated influence.

Research limitations/implications

The research study is cross-sectional in design; however, longitudinal design can be used to gain more insights about negative gossips and their effects. Second, a very small sample is used in this study.

Practical implications

This study can be used to understand informal communication network in the organization. Managers can use this channel to pass information quickly, as informal channels are faster than formal communication channels. This research can be used to understand the underling relationships between the coworkers in organizations


This paper provides guidelines to organizational life and information on how the informal networks within organization can be studied.



Kiran, F., Zubair, A., Shahzadi, I. and Abbas, A. (2018), "Internet-based digitalmarketing strategies fordata-rich environments: A social network perspective to study gossips", The Bottom Line, Vol. 31 No. 2, pp. 98-113.



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