Faculty of Business Administration

MMI Brown Bag Seminar

“Learning from supervisor negative gossip: The reflective learning process and performance outcome of employee receivers”


Prof. Tingting CHEN

Associate Professor
Lingnan University of Hong Kong


Date:          04 Dec 2019 (Wednesday)
Time:         10:30 – 11:30
Venue:       E22-2010



Drawing on the cultural learning perspective of gossip and social learning theory, we propose that supervisor negative gossip is positively related to employee receiver job performance through reflective learning. We conducted two field studies to test our hypotheses. Based on a cross-sectional design with 212 supervisor–subordinate dyads, Study 1 found that supervisor negative gossip facilitated employee receiver reflective learning, which then improved their job performance. This mediating effect was positive and significant after controlling for supervisor positive gossip, supervisor positive feedback, and supervisor negative feedback as independent variables, as well as norm acceptance as a mediator. Moreover, based on a cross-lagged panel design with 132 supervisor–subordinate dyads, Study 2 replicated the findings obtained in Study 1. Importantly, it provided evidence for the directional relationship from supervisor negative gossip to employee receiver job performance via reflective learning. Our research extends the nomological network of workplace gossip by exploring the positive effects of workplace negative gossip on gossip receivers from a learning perspective.



Prof. Chen is an Associate Professor in the Department of Management of Lingnan University. She received her Ph.D. from City University of Hong Kong. Her research interests include creative and innovative performance at the individual and team levels, high-velocity environments and team dynamics, and leadership theories. Tingting has published in internationally leading journals in the academic fields of organizational behavior, human resource management, and management education such as Personnel Psychology, Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Journal of Organizational Behavior, Human Resource Management, and Academy of Management Learning & Education.