Status, Reputation, and Gossip


Gossip and reputation management are essential features of society. Their investigation is part of the frontiers of research in at least three scientific domains: the social, the natural and the computational sciences. Understanding the dynamics, evolution and change of gossip and reputation requires a truly inter-disciplinary scientific effort. Together with my colleague Francesca Giardini, we try to solve some of the key questions in this domain: What incites individuals to share third party information with others? Under which conditions will this information be honest? How do social networks and the Internet affect gossip and reputation dynamics and vice versa? How do reputation systems evolve, and how do they affect societal outcomes like coordination, integration, inequality and well-being?

Selection of publications

Grow, A., Flache, A., Wittek, R. (2017). Global Diversity and Local Consensus in Status Beliefs: The Role of Network Clustering and Resistance to Belief Change. Sociological Science, November 6, 2017 DOI 10.15195/v4.a25

Grow, A., A. Flache and R. Wittek (2015). An Agent-Based Model of Status Construction in Task Focused Groups. Journal of Artificial Societies and Social Simulation 18 (2) 4.

Präg, P., M. Mills, and R. Wittek (2014). Income and Income Inequality as Social Determinants of Health: Do Social Comparisons Play a Role? European Sociological Review 30 (2): 218-229.

Ellwardt, L., C. Steglich, and R. Wittek (2012). The Co-evolution of Gossip and Friendship in Workplace Social Networks. Social Networks 34 (4): 632-

Ellwardt, L., R. Wittek, R. Wielers (2012). Talking About the Boss: Effects of Generalized and Interpersonal Trust on Workplace Gossip. Group and Organization Management 37 (4): 519-547.

Ellwardt, L., J. Labianca, R. Wittek (2012). Who Are the Objects of Positive and Negative Gossip at Work? A Social Network Perspective on Workplace GossipSocial Networks 34 (2), 193-205.

Agneessens, F. and R. Wittek (2012). Where Do Intra-Organizational Advice Relations Come From? The Role of Informal Status and Social Capital in Social ExchangeSocial Networks 34 (3), 333-345.

Thau, S., K. Aquino, R. Wittek (2007). An Extension of Uncertainty Management Theory to the Self: The Relationship between Justice, Social Comparison Orientation, and Antisocial Work Behaviors. Journal of Applied Psychology 92 (1), 250-258.

Wittek, R., H. Hangyi, M. van Duijn, and C. Carroll (2000). Social Capital, Third Party Gossip, and Cooperation in Organizations. The Management of Durable Relations. J. Weesie and W. Raub (eds). Amsterdam: ThelaThesis.

Wittek, R. and R. Wielers (2000). Organisatie´gossip´. Pp. 297-320 in Het beste uit Handboek Interne Communicatie, onder redactie van Otto Scholten. Alphen aan den Rijn: Samsom.

Wittek, R., and R. Wielers (1998). Gossip in Organizations. Computational and Mathematical Organization Theory 4 (2), 189-204.



Department of Sociology
Faculty of Behavioral and Social SciencesUniversity of Groningen
Grote Rozenstraat 31, 9712 TG Groningen, The Netherlands
Phone: +31 50 36 36282

Secretary: Ms. Lije Gong (+31 50 36 36469,