Gossip? No, Not Me! An Experiential Exercise

Peter M. Markulis, Daniel R. Strang, Marian W. Boscia


This paper presents an experiential exercise on the topic of gossip. It seems gossip occurs everywhere and frequently, so much so, that it is not even noticed—people just do it, often without thinking that they are doing it. Yet, we all know that gossip can have an impact, sometimes positive, but mostly negative, on the lives of people. This is also true for organizations. If gossip can have an impact on organi-zational performance, then it is something that managers must deal with in a deliberate and structured way. With that in mind, the authors have developed an experiential exercise which is meant to help the undergraduate student understand the dynamics of gossip and its impact on organ-izational performance. The paper begins with a short dis-cussion on the nature of gossip, a review of management literature on the topic and concludes with a complete de-scription of the exercise.

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