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UI Professor Comments on Workplace Gossip

A recent study shows how prevalent rumors and gossip are in the workplace. Sixty-three percent of American employees said rumors are usually how they first hear about important business matters, according to a study by ISR, a global employee research and consulting firm headquartered in Chicago. Managers who keep workers in the dark about company concerns can breed anxiety and fuel rumors and gossip, said JAY CHRISTENSEN-SZALANSKI, a professor in the department of management and organization at the University of Iowa. "I cannot see any beneficial reason to advocate the use of gossip in business," he said. So it's best to keep the lines of communication open. "You should certainly make sure that you're a source of information for [workers] so that they don't have to go to other places for it," he said. "The information vacuum will be filled by rumors and gossip."

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