Rumor Management at Work


Rumors are a form of social communication that spreads news without solid evidence. It is often used to share information that is considered untrue or unverified, but they can also be an effective way to communicate information about a person.

In our study, we investigated how managers handle rumors at work. We collected and analysed a large collection of interview transcripts from participants at a public sector workplace, a forensic psychiatric unit in Sweden.

Our analysis of the interviews revealed three main themes that provide insights into how rumours develop and emerge as a part of daily working life. The first category was ‘How rumours emerge’, which deals with how rumours start and how they evolve over time.

This category includes the generation of rumours and their spread through channels such as email, social media, or meetings. It is a complex process, and it takes time for rumours to take root in the work environment and spread to other employees.

The second category is ‘How rumours develop’, which includes how rumours change as they move through different stages. This includes how rumors are changed in response to new information or changing circumstances. It is a dynamic process that may result in managers reacting to rumours in a positive manner and even making use of them.

One of the most important aspects of handling rumors is to not allow them to get out of hand. They can have serious consequences and damage your reputation, so it is essential to handle them in a professional manner and address them immediately.

Another aspect of dealing with rumors is to understand why people spread them in the first place. It is common for people to spread rumors when they feel anxious, unsure about something, or just bored.

For instance, some people spread rumors when they are having a hard time in their career or want to boost their self-esteem. Others may hear false information and spread it to hurt someone.

This is why it is so important to treat people kindly and not let rumors affect your relationship with them. This will prevent people from spreading rumors about you in the future because they will be less likely to be malicious or try to harm your reputation.

In addition, treating people kindly can help to keep rumors from affecting your career or job opportunities. If you can be kind to the people around you, then they will be less likely to spread rumors about you when they are feeling upset or confused.

Lastly, it is important to know that rumors do not always mean that you have done something wrong. They can be a sign that you are having a hard time in your current job and that you need to work on improving it.

While rumors are a normal part of life, they can be destructive when they get out of control. If you know that you are having a hard time in the workplace, it is crucial to be honest with your boss about what is happening and to address any concerns that you have as soon as possible. This will help to prevent them from spreading and causing more problems in the future.