Rumor as Revenge in the Workplace

Prashant Bordia*, Kohyar Kiazad, Simon Lloyd D. Restubog, Nicholas DiFonzo, Nicholas Stenson, Robert L. Tang

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    29 Citations (Scopus)


    Two studies that examined the role of revenge in rumor transmission and involved working adults as participants are reported. Study 1 used hypothetical scenarios to manipulate organizational treatment of an employee and the believability of a rumor. Participants had higher intention to transmit a harmful rumor when the organization broke job-related promises (i.e., breached the psychological contract) and revenge motivation mediated this relationship. Believability of the rumor had no effect. Study 2 used a field survey methodology and, controlling for social desirability, replicated the results for self- and peer-reported rumor transmission behavior. Study 2 also showed that participants’ belief in negative reciprocity norm strengthened the relationship between breach and revenge motivation.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)363-388
    Number of pages26
    JournalGroup and Organization Management
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - 1 Aug 2014


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