The Social Upside of Workplace Gossip 

Dishing Dirt About Colleagues Can Keep Them From Acting Selfishly, and Helps Coworkers Cooperate

Gossip has long been popular in the workplace, where employees seem to have a vigorous appetite for informally evaluating coworkers behind their backs. Recently, an increasing number of scientific studies have examined what motivates gossip, and how it affects individuals and groups both inside and outside of organizations.

Of course, if you ask most people, they are likely to say they deplore gossip, but as a social scientist who studies how organizations work, it’s clear to me that it plays a more positive role in the workplace than we might expect. …