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Article
Publication date: 9 July 2018

Subin Sudhir

Employees often engage in informal interpersonal communication within organizations. Such communication is essential for creating a better work environment. While there…

Abstract

Purpose

Employees often engage in informal interpersonal communication within organizations. Such communication is essential for creating a better work environment. While there are documented advantages of such communication, often, such communication is plagued by rumors. The purpose of this paper is to highlight the menace posed by rumors, the motivations for employees to engage in rumormongering, and possible ways to manage the spread of these rumors.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper draws from published literature on rumor research to illustrate the menace of rumors within organizational contexts, motivation to engage in rumormongering, and possible management strategies.

Findings

The paper identifies the menace of rumors in organizations, illustrates the reasons why employees share rumors, and discusses the possible methods to manage the spread of rumors.

Originality/value

Rumor propagation in organizations is an extremely dynamic process. The key element in rumor management is the swiftness and agility in intervention and management of rumors using strategies described in this paper. HR managers can monitor conversations to identify potentially harmful rumors and tackle this menace.

Details

Human Resource Management International Digest, vol. 26 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0967-0734

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Article
Publication date: 1 June 1994

Adebowale Akande and Funmilayo Odewale

Rumour behaviour is an “instinctual behaviour” elicited in the workplaceusually involving unverified information of uncertain origin that istransmitted by word of mouth…

Abstract

Rumour behaviour is an “instinctual behaviour” elicited in the workplace usually involving unverified information of uncertain origin that is transmitted by word of mouth. Examines the ways in which rumours spread and how organizations can stop them. To do so requires that practical sense be made be made of a potentially chaotic and complex set of factors which interact together to produce and elaborate rumours. With a better understanding of the nature of rumours and techniques of rumour rebuttal, organizations can prevent rumour build‐up among the staff.

Details

Leadership & Organization Development Journal, vol. 15 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-7739

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 2000

Chris Frost

The Internet‘s email system is a fast and efficient communication method and one that has become particularly popular for rumours and hoaxes. These include virus alerts…

Abstract

The Internet‘s email system is a fast and efficient communication method and one that has become particularly popular for rumours and hoaxes. These include virus alerts, one of the favourite types of hoax, and urban myths or contemporary legends. An interesting element of these types of rumours and hoaxes is: the apparent reduction in caution about their retransmission; the speed and ease of re‐transmission that email offers; the extensive detail that is often included at variance to standard word of mouth transmission of rumour. This paper examines a single case study in order to investigate the differences between e‐rumours and word of mouth rumours. Theory suggests that detail adds verisimilitude to a rumour and this could certainly explain why such emails often provide extensive detail. The email system eases the job of re‐transmitting and this might explain why readers are prepared to broadcast such rumours without further checking.

Details

Aslib Proceedings, vol. 52 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0001-253X

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 2003

Thomas Kobinah, Dick Mizerski and Katherine Mizerski

Commercial rumour can have a very negative impact on companies and products. As soon as a negative rumour begins to spread, sales often fall drastically. The major battle…

Abstract

Commercial rumour can have a very negative impact on companies and products. As soon as a negative rumour begins to spread, sales often fall drastically. The major battle is not only to recover sales but how to recover consumer confidence before buyers eliminate the company’s brands from their evoked set. The literature on commercial rumour implicitly assumes that consumers will react to commercial rumours in a homogenous manner. However, most marketing scholars involved in studying cultural effects suggest that the culture of the buyer will influence their reaction specifically through their acceptance/rejection of the source attempting to refute the rumour. Therefore, any attempt to address commercial rumour without regard to the buyers’ cultural backgrounds may not be effective. An experiment was developed to test the effect of cultural background on choice of spokesperson to refute commercial rumours. The results of this experiment show that consumers from Eastern and Western cultural backgrounds respond in a different manner to spokespersons addressing commercial rumours. Their cultural backgrounds and values appear to influence their belief about the veracity of the source responding to the commercial rumours and their message. It is recommended that marketing personnel consider consumers’ and buyers’ core values when developing strategies for and selecting sources for controlling commercial rumours.

Details

Asia Pacific Journal of Marketing and Logistics, vol. 15 no. 1/2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-5855

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Article
Publication date: 25 August 2021

Lu (Monroe) Meng, Tongmao Li, Xin Huang and Shaobo (Kevin) Li

This paper aims to investigate the impacts of rumors' information characteristics on people's believing and spreading of rumors online.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to investigate the impacts of rumors' information characteristics on people's believing and spreading of rumors online.

Design/methodology/approach

This study employed a mixed-methods approach by combining qualitative and quantitative methods. In study 1, the authors explored different types of rumors and their information source characteristics through qualitative research. In study 2, the authors utilized the findings from study 1 to develop an empirical model to verify the impact of these characteristics on the public's behaviors of believing and spreading rumors by content analysis and quantitative research.

Findings

The results show that five information source characteristics – credibility, professionalism, attractiveness, mystery and concreteness – influence the spreading effect of different types of rumors.

Research limitations/implications

This study contributes to rumor spreading research by deepening the theory of information source characteristics and adding to the emerging literature on the COVID-19 pandemic.

Practical implications

Insights from this research offer important practical implications for policymakers and online-platform operators by highlighting how to suppress the spread of rumors, particularly those associated with COVID-19.

Originality/value

This research introduces the theory of information source characteristics into the field of rumor spreading and adopts a mixed-methods approach, taking COVID-19 rumors as a typical case, which provides a unique perspective for a deeper understanding of rumor spreading's antecedences.

Details

Internet Research, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1066-2243

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 13 July 2021

Hailiang Chen, Chuan Ai, Bin Chen, Yong Zhao, Kaisheng Lai, Lingnan He and Zhihan Liu

The purpose of this paper is to achieve effective governance of online rumors through the proposed rumor propagation model and immunization strategy.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to achieve effective governance of online rumors through the proposed rumor propagation model and immunization strategy.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper leverages the agent-based modeling (ABM) method to model individuals from two aspects, behavior and attitude. Based on the analysis and research of online data, we propose a rumor propagation model, namely the Untouched view transmit removed-Susceptible hesitate agree disagree (Unite-Shad), and devise an immunization strategy, namely the Gravity Immunization Strategy (GIS). A graph-based framework, namely Pregel, is used to carry out the rumor propagation simulation experiments. Through the experiments, the rationality of the Unite-Shad and the effectiveness of the GIS are verified.

Findings

The study discovers that the inconsistency between human behaviors and attitudes in rumor propagation can be explained by the Unite-shad model. Besides, the GIS, which shows better performance in small-world networks than in scale-free networks, can effectively suppress rumor propagation in the early stage.

Research limitations/implications

This paper provides an effective immunization strategy for rumor governance. Specifically, the Unite-Shad model reveals the mechanism of rumor propagation, and the GIS provides an effective governance method for selecting immune nodes.

Originality/value

The inconsistency of human behaviors and attitudes in real scenes is modeled in the Unite-Shad model. Combined with the model, the definition of diffusion domain is proposed and a novel immunization strategy, namely GIS, is designed, which is significant for the social governance of rumor propagation.

Details

Internet Research, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1066-2243

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Article
Publication date: 26 July 2021

Jihee Choi and Soobin Seo

This paper aims to investigate consumer responses to brand rumors and corporate rumor response strategies in the restaurant industry.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to investigate consumer responses to brand rumors and corporate rumor response strategies in the restaurant industry.

Design/methodology/approach

A scenario-based experimental design was used to examine changes in consumers’ brand evaluation depending on level of brand equity and corporate choice of response strategy.

Findings

It was found that the impact of brand rumors on consumer responses is more negative when the restaurant’s brand equity is low compared to when it is high. It was also found that a company's use of active response strategies is more effective in combating brand rumor than a strategy of simple denial.

Practical implications

The findings have significant implications for both academics and practitioners in terms of developing effective response strategies for counteracting brand rumors.

Originality/value

Given the frequency of brand rumors in the restaurant industry and their serious negative impacts, this study extends the existing brand crisis communication literature by demonstrating how consumers respond to a rumor and the effectiveness of different corporate rumor response strategies.

Details

International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, vol. 33 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-6119

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Article
Publication date: 30 June 2021

Tung-Ching Lin, Shiu-Li Huang and Wei-Xing Liao

This study investigates factors that motivate social media users to retransmit rumors. We focus on everyday rumors rather than catastrophic rumors and develop a model of…

Abstract

Purpose

This study investigates factors that motivate social media users to retransmit rumors. We focus on everyday rumors rather than catastrophic rumors and develop a model of everyday rumor retransmission based on the uses and gratification theory, the rumor retransmission model, and the basic law of rumor.

Design/methodology/approach

An Internet survey is conducted to collect data and test the proposed model. This study’s hypotheses are tested through partial least squares regression analysis.

Findings

The results show that socializing, information seeking and status seeking increase the intention to retransmit rumors. Perceived rumor credibility has a moderating effect on the impacts of socializing and status seeking on retransmission intention.

Originality/value

Our research model provides a theoretical foundation for future studies that want to explore motivations or values that determine rumor-sharing intention on social media. The findings can help government agencies and businesses to manage rumor retransmission on social media.

Details

Information Technology & People, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-3845

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Article
Publication date: 8 June 2021

Jenette Villegas Puyod and Peerayuth Charoensukmongkol

This study examines the effects of workplace rumors and organizational formalization on the degree of role ambiguity and emotional exhaustion that university employees in…

Abstract

Purpose

This study examines the effects of workplace rumors and organizational formalization on the degree of role ambiguity and emotional exhaustion that university employees in the Philippines are experiencing during the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. The interaction between the two variables is also analyzed.

Design/methodology/approach

Online survey data were obtained from 522 faculty members and staff at three public universities in the Philippines. The data were analyzed using partial least squares structural equation modeling.

Findings

The results show that both workplace rumors and organizational formalization are associated positively with role ambiguity and emotional exhaustion, and role ambiguity mediates workplace rumors' effect on emotional exhaustion. Moreover, the moderating effect analysis shows that workplace rumors and organizational formalization interact and intensify the degree of role ambiguity and emotional exhaustion that employees experience.

Originality/value

This study extends previous research by showing that employees who work in a highly formal structure can be extremely sensitive to workplace rumors during a period of uncertainty.

Details

Corporate Communications: An International Journal, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1356-3289

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Article
Publication date: 19 June 2021

Ping Wang, Yixia Hu, Qiao Li and Hanqin Yang

Journalism students, a special user group with the dual perspective of both social media general users and online journalists, and their trust in rumours is a valued but…

Abstract

Purpose

Journalism students, a special user group with the dual perspective of both social media general users and online journalists, and their trust in rumours is a valued but understudied topic in relation to preparing rational information users and professionals for rumour control. To reveal these trust mechanisms, this paper aims to identify salient psychological and behavioural factors related to journalism students’ different levels of trust.

Design/methodology/approach

Using structural equation modelling to analyse the survey data of 234 journalism students, this paper tested a theoretical model that considers self-efficacy and the expressive and consumptive use of social media rumours as the antecedents and consequences of trust belief and trust action, respectively.

Findings

Self-efficacy has a positive effect on trust belief but a negative effect on trust action. Trust belief positively affects expressive use of rumours, whereas trust action negatively affects consumptive use.

Practical implications

This study contributes to the cultivation of future online news gatekeepers.

Originality/value

This paper distinguishes journalism students’ trust mechanisms from those of general users and online journalists. The integration of dual process theories provides insights into trust-building processes related to rumours and advances the understanding of the anchoring and adjustment effects of self-efficacy on trust.

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