Identifier

etd-0606103-074108

Degree

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department

Speech Communication

Document Type

Dissertation

Abstract

Gossip occurs in the organization and individuals exposed to these gossip messages must decide how to interpret the gossip. This dissertation explains the definitions and research for gossip, message direction, sex differences, message interpretation, politicalism, and believability. Applying symbolic interactionism and social exchange theory, seven relationships between variables are proposed. The seven hypotheses are tested via a web-based questionnaire that manipulated the message direction and sex of the gossiper and gossip receiver. Two hundred seventy-six full time employees completed instruments measuring gossip believability, purpose, and politicalism. Data were subjected to a MANCOVA, and correlation statistics. Results supported three of the seven hypotheses. Specifically, message direction and sex of the receiver influenced gossip interpretation. Data confirmed a predicted negative relationship between believability and politicalism. Interpretations of results, limitations, implications, and directions for future research are included.

Date

2003

Document Availability at the Time of Submission

Release the entire work immediately for access worldwide.

Committee Chair

Renee Edwards

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