ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

心理科学进展 ›› 2022, Vol. 30 ›› Issue (12): 2681-2695.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2022.02681

• 元分析 • 上一篇    下一篇

职场负面八卦对被八卦员工行为的影响: 基于认知-情感人格系统理论的元分析

李黎飞1,2, 卫旭华1(), 程德俊2   

  1. 1兰州大学管理学院, 兰州 730000
    2南京大学商学院, 南京 210093
  • 收稿日期:2021-11-21 出版日期:2022-12-15 发布日期:2022-09-23
  • 通讯作者: 卫旭华
  • 基金资助:

The effect of negative workplace gossip on the targets’ behaviors: A meta-analysis based on the cognitive-affective personality system theory

LI Lifei1,2, WEI Xuhua1(), CHENG Dejun2   

  1. 1School of Management, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou 730000, China
    2Business School, Nanjing University, Nanjing 210093, China
  • Received:2021-11-21 Online:2022-12-15 Published:2022-09-23
  • Contact: WEI Xuhua


近年来研究者开始关注职场负面八卦对被八卦员工行为的影响。然而, 目前关于二者关系机制的研究视角较为分散, 且研究结论存在诸多分歧。为了厘清职场负面八卦与被八卦员工行为之间的关系, 对2000年以来51个研究、61个样本的197个效应值进行了定量整合, 基于认知-情感人格系统理论构建了职场负面八卦影响员工行为的解释机制, 探索了负面八卦感知属性和文化差异在调和职场负面八卦与员工行为矛盾结论方面发挥的作用。结果表明, 职场负面八卦对被八卦员工的行为产生了消极影响, 职场负面八卦具体通过降低积极人际认知对被八卦员工的行为产生消极影响。从负面八卦感知属性的调节作用来看, 当员工感知已被负面八卦时会表现出更加消极的行为, 而当员工感知将被负面八卦时则会表现出更加积极的行为。从文化差异的调节作用来看, 西方文化情境中职场负面八卦对被八卦员工行为的负向影响弱于东方文化情境。以上结论对于研究和管理职场负面八卦都具有一定的指导意义。

关键词: 职场负面八卦, 认知-情感人格系统理论, 负面八卦感知属性, 文化差异, 员工行为


Negative workplace gossip (NWG) occurs when one organizational member (the gossiper) engages in informal and negative evaluative communication with another member(s) (the gossip recipient) about an absent third member(the target), and in recent years researchers have begun to focus on the effects of NWG on the behaviors of the targets. Despite the burgeoning number of studies that have explored the relationship between NWG and the targets' behaviors and its intermediate mechanisms, the explanatory perspectives of these intermediate mechanisms are fragmented and the relationships among them are not yet clear. At the same time, there are some inconsistencies in the findings on the relationship between NWG and the targets' behaviors, for example, some studies found that NWG led to a decrease in positive behaviors and an increase in negative behaviors among the targets, while others studies found that NWG increased positive behaviors and eliminated potential negative behaviors among them.
To clarify the relationship between NWG and the targets' behaviors, this study constructs a cognitive-emotional explanatory mechanism for NWG affecting the targets' behaviors based on the cognitive-affective personality system theory, and explores the role of the attributes of NWG perception and cultural differences in reconciling the contradictory findings of the relationship between NWG and the targets' behaviors. We assume that NWG can influence the behaviors of the targets through their positive interpersonal perceptions and positive affective experiences, and the differences in the perceived attributes of NWG and cultural differences may moderate the relationship between NWG and the behaviors of the targets. Then, We searched for studies related to NWG and obtained 51 empirical articles(including 61 studies, 198 effect values, 21549 samples) that met the requirements after screening, and validated the above conjectures by a two-stage structural equation modeling meta-analysis approach.
The results of the meta-analysis indicated that NWG was significantly and negatively related to the targets' positive behaviors (ρ = -0.18, p < 0.001). Positive interpersonal perceptions (indirect effect of -0.12, p < 0.001) and positive affective experiences (indirect effect of 0.01, p < 0.05) of the targets mediated the relationship between NWG and positive behaviors respectively. Specifically, NWG can reduce positive behaviors by undermining positive interpersonal perceptions of the targets, while increasing positive behaviors by damaging positive affective experiences of the targets (this is contrary to our previous hypothesis). Further analysis of the moderating effect showed that the attributes of NWG perception of the targets moderated the relationship between NWG and positive behaviors (QB = 59.15, p < 0.001), when targets perceived that they have been negatively gossiped, they will show fewer positive behaviors, but when they perceived that they are about to be negatively gossiped, they will show more positive behaviors; Cultural differences also moderated the relationship between NWG and positive behaviors (QB = 38.55, p < 0.001), in the context of Eastern culture, NWG has a stronger negative influence on the targets' positive behaviors than in the context of Western culture.
The above findings suggest that NWG has both negative and positive effects on the targets' behaviors, which has certain implications for both research and management of NWG. From a theoretical perspective, this study examined the mediating mechanisms of NWG influencing the targets' behaviors through a structural equation modeling meta-analysis approach, which helps to open the black box of how NWG influences the targets' behaviors. In addition, this study also examines the moderating effects of the attributes of NWG perception and cultural differences on the relationship between NWG and the targets' behaviors, which helps to reconcile the contradictory findings on this relationship. From a practical point of view, by playing the role of a listener, managers can obtain information that is not available through formal channels, and intervene timely to prevent NWG that is dysfunctional and may lead to negative consequences from causing a bigger organizational crisis; At the same time, managers can also use NWG to discipline potential anomie behaviors and guide employees to behave more positively.

Key words: negative workplace gossip, cognitive-affective personality system theory, attributes of negative workplace gossip perception, cultural differences, targets’ behaviors