This study aims to examine perceived organizational politics (POP) as an antecedent to workplace gossip. While the commonly held belief is that POP is consequential to the existence of negative workplace gossip, an alternate hypothesis can be that POP may predict positive workplace gossip as well. The study further explores the role of compassion as a boundary condition in the relationship of POP with negative and positive valences of workplace gossip.
Using purposive sampling technique, the data were collected through time-lagged (two-wave) surveys from employees working in private (Study 1, n = 366) and public (Study 2, n = 206) sector organizations across India, and analyzed using SPSS AMOS 27 and PROCESS Macro (Model 1).
The results of Study 1 and Study 2 revealed that POP correlated positively with negative as well as positive workplace gossip. Further, it was found that compassion moderated the relationship of POP with negative workplace gossip but failed to moderate in the case of positive workplace gossip in both the studies.
This study makes practitioners aware of the ubiquity of the phenomenon of workplace gossip and encourages them to embrace gossip in the workplace rather than banishing it altogether.
This study delineates the link between POP and the valences of workplace gossip that remains unexplored in the literature. The study also takes into account the intervening role of compassion in the aforementioned relationships. The striking results of the study open new realms of research possibilities not only in the field of workplace gossip, but POP and compassion as well.
Khan, A. and Chaudhary, R. (2022), "Perceived organizational politics and workplace gossip: the moderating role of compassion", International Journal of Conflict Management, Vol. ahead-of-print No. ahead-of-print. https://doi.org/10.1108/IJCMA-07-2022-0121
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