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Also known as the grape vine, the RumourMill occurs when too many rumours are flying around. Rumours by themselves aren't devastating(*), but if the majority of information is speculative, often in this overly dramatic, negative, cynical way, things are going badly. A solid injection of real information is needed. Contrast FairProcess.

(*) From L. Hirschhorn "Managing Rumours" in L. Hirschhorn (ed.), Cutting Back; Redevelopment in Human and Community Services ISBN 0875895689 (alternate, search) pp. 49-52, the evidence shows that 75 percent of rumours are accurate. Moreover, rumours often serve to

  1. Structure and reduce anxiety
  2. Make sense of limited or fragmented information
  3. Serve as a vehicle to organize group members or outsiders into coalitions
  4. Signal a sender's status or power (i.e. I'm inside the loop, whilst you are not)

and arise in situations that

Rumours serve to show what people care about, even though only about 10% of people actively propogate them.

The above adapted from Organization Behaviour--Concepts, Controversies, Applications (2nd Canadian ed.) by Robbins and Langton, pp. 284-5. ISBN 0138574596 (alternate, search), new edition ISBN 0130166804 (alternate, search)

See also PhonyFlood


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