The purpose of this study was to understand how modern-day managers perceived their subordinates were reacting to the phenomenon of online grapevine communication in the workplace. A qualitative inductive inquiry drawing upon techniques of grounded theory was conducted to collect and analyze feedback provided by 15 top-level corporate managers from 10 organizations in India. Managers cited several evidences of employees engaging in online grapevine communication and discussed reasons behind such behavior. Some of the key factors behind such behavior of employees were level of internet familiarity, anonymity of the rumor mongers, quicker and wider reach and opportunity for cyber loafing. A theory of antecedents of online grapevine communication and management reaction to this phenomenon gradually emerged from our data.


Decision Making, Web 2.0, Social Networking, Internet, Chatting, Gossip, Grapevine, Information, Leadership, Grounded Theory

Author Bio(s)

Pratyush Banerjee has completed a PhD in Human Resource Management from ICFAI University Dehradun. He has interest in the fields of cognitive psychology and human computer interaction and qualitative research methodologies. He has published research articles in journals of international repute and has presented several papers at various international conferences.Correspondence regarding this article can also be addressed directly to: Pratyush Banerjee at E-mail:pratbanerjee@gmail.com

Sweta Singh is pursuing a Fellowship in Human Resource Management from the Indian Institute of Management Bangalore. Her research interests are in the areas of career planning, leadership studies and management decision making. She has published research articles in various international journals and her papers have been presented at several international conferences.Correspondence regarding this article can be addressed directly to: Sweta Singh at E-mail: singhsweta77@gmail.com

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