Rumors and Rumor Control
A Manager's Guide to Understanding and Combatting Rumors
Routledge – 2003 – 272 pages
Series: Routledge Communication Series
This book offers a thorough examination of rumors and proposes strategies for organizations to use in combatting rumors that occur both internally and externally. Author Allan J. Kimmel explores the rumor phenomenon and distinguishes it as a distinct form of communication. He looks at psychological and social processes underlying rumor transmission to understand the circumstances under which people invent and circulate rumors. In addition, he examines how rumors are spread--both interpersonally and through mediated processes--and offers strategies for organizations to respond to rumors when they surface and methods for preventing their occurrence. Numerous examples are provided of actual rumor cases for which managers either successfully or unsuccessfully coped, including such companies as Procter & Gamble, McDonald's, Snapple, Pepsi-Cola, and Gerber.
Intended to serve as a comprehensive compendium of strategies, this book was written with two objectives in mind. The first is to shed light on the often perplexing phenomenon of rumor by integrating disparate approaches from the behavioral sciences, marketing, and communication fields. The second is to offer a blueprint for going about the formidable tasks of attempting to prevent and neutralize rumors in business contexts. With these dual goals in mind--one theoretical, the other applied--this book will be of equal interest to both academics and managers in a wide range of professional contexts. In addition, it will guide organizational and marketing managers in their efforts to combat the potentially destructive consequences of rumors.
Contents: Preface. Part I: Understanding Rumors and Rumor Transmission. Introduction: Identifying Rumors and Related Forms of Communication. Understanding Rumor: The Dynamics of Rumor Transmission and Belief. Commercial Rumors and Organizational Grapevines. How Information Spreads: Word-of-Mouth, Opinion Leadership, and the Media. Part II: Combatting Rumors in the Marketplace and Workplace. Managing Commercial Rumors: How Can Marketplace Rumors Be Prevented? Managing Commercial Rumors: Strategies and Tactics for Neutralizing Rumors. Managing the Organizational Grapevine.