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Dear Nancy,

There is a lot of work done on negative ties in general and negative gossip in particular; specifically in organisational context. See the following references:

1) Grosser, T. J., Lopez-Kidwell, V., & Labianca, G. (2010). A social network analysis of positive and negative gossip in organizational lifeGroup and Organization Management35(2), 177-212. 10.1177/1059601109360391

2)  Beersma, B. and Van Kleef, G. A. (2012), Why People Gossip: An Empirical Analysis of Social Motives, Antecedents, and Consequences. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 42: 2640–2670. doi: 10.1111/j.1559-1816.2012.00956.x

3) Ellwardt, L., Labianca, J. & Wittek, R. (2012): Who Are the Objects of Positive and Negative Gossip at Work? A Social Network Perspective on Workplace Gossip. Social Networks 34(2), 193-205.

4) Grosser, T.J., Lopez-Kidwell, V., Labianca, G. & Ellwardt, L. (2012): Hearing It Through the Grapevine: Positive and Negative Workplace Gossip. Organizational Dynamics 41(1), 52-61.

5) Ellwardt, L., Steglich, C. & Wittek, R. (2012): The Co-evolution of Gossip and Friendship in Workplace Social Networks. Social Networks 34(4), 623-633

6) Ellwardt, L. (2011): Gossip in Organizations. A Social Network Study. ICS dissertation, Groningen

7) Labianca, G., & Brass, D.J. (2006). Exploring the Social Ledger: Negative Relationships and Negative Asymmetry in Social Networks in Organizations. Academy of Management Review, 31: 596-614.

Hope that helps. If I find more work I am happy to send you. I am working on negative gossip in organizational context. Still I would be more then interested to know what turns out for you.Please keep me posted on the results of your research.  


On Tue, May 3, 2016 at 6:45 PM, Worsfold, Nancy <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
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Hello ‘SocNet”:


I am contacting you hoping that perhaps you can point me in the direction of ideas or research with regards to the power of gossip in marginalized neighbourhoods.


Let me explain – I am responsible for crime prevention and community safety for the city of Ottawa, Canada.  One of our projects is developing support networks to help neighbourhoods recover from tragic incidents such as shootings and murders.  We funded some research on the topic of how trauma plays out in neighbourhoods because most work on trauma is very individually or clinically focused, but we are more interested in neighbourhoods and community.   The research entitled “Reactions to Trauma on a Community Level” is available on our website as are a number of other relevant community based research projects on neighbourhoods. 


One of the key findings in the research was the enormous power of negative gossip in marginalized neighbourhoods where many of these incidents take place.  This is destructive to the fabric of the community and to healing from traumatic events.   We released the research, and a few other things, at an event with 180 community workers and activists and the general consensus seemed to be that negative gossip really is a big problem.  I have no idea of how to address this, or even how to think about addressing it, there is lots of academic literature about community cohesion and gang prevention, but nothing mentions gossip.    Having asked many people where I should start – I was directed to your listserve.


So, I hope you don’t mind me reaching out, but if you have any ideas for me, it would be much appreciated.







Nancy Worsfold
Executive Director/Directrice génerale
Crime Prevention Ottawa/Prévention du crime Ottawa
613-580-2424 ext./poste 28518






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Dr. Kamal Badar
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HEC Approved Ph.D. Supervisor
Institute of Management Sciences
University of Balochistan
Quetta, Pakistan. 

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