A Field Exploration of Informal Workplace Communication

DOI: 10.4236/sm.2011.14027   PDF   HTML     7,960 Downloads   15,689 Views   Citations


Two views of informal communication are developed for purposes of comparison. Multiple incidents from two US companies are described based on fieldwork. In both cases, managerial efforts were made to quell gossip. Paradoxically, the versions multiplied at the first site and a gossip spiral occurred at the second. Our inductive analysis reveals the shortcomings of the existing “best practices” and simple theories. Notably, in both cases certain aspects of informal employee organization were more functional than some of the formal practices were. Due to the complex nature of these social situations, great care must be taken in evaluating them and charting a course.

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Fortado, B. (2011). A Field Exploration of Informal Workplace Communication. Sociology Mind, 1, 212-220. doi: 10.4236/sm.2011.14027.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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