Negative workplace gossip: Its impact on customer service performance and moderating roles of trait mindfulness and forgiveness

Mayowa T. Babalola, Shuang Ren, Thomas Kobinah, Yuanmei Elly Qu, Omale A. Garba, Liang Guo

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    29 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    This study investigates why and when perceived negative workplace gossip inhibits targets’ in-role performance in the context of service. Relying on affective events theory, we argue that perceived negative workplace gossip inhibits targets’ customer service performance by eliciting negative mood. Furthermore, we argue that this mediating process is moderated by targets’ trait mindfulness and forgiveness. Specifically, we suggest that target employees who are lower (versus higher) in trait mindfulness are more likely to experience negative mood. In turn, the negative mood only inhibits customer service performance among those who have lower (versus higher) tendency to forgive. Results from a multi-wave, multisource field study provide support for our hypotheses, even while controlling for targets’ emotional exhaustion as an alternative pathway. These findings support the affective events perspective to understand negative workplace gossip and provide a more nuanced view on its consequences.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)136-143
    Number of pages8
    JournalInternational Journal of Hospitality Management
    Volume80
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Jul 2019

    Keywords

    • Customer service performance
    • Negative mood
    • Negative workplace gossip
    • Trait forgiveness
    • Trait mindfulness

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Tourism, Leisure and Hospitality Management
    • Strategy and Management

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