The power of social information in the workplace Academic Article uri icon


  • Jobs and the characteristics associated with them rarely are totally objective. Employees' reactions to their jobs are influenced by information provided by co-workers, supervisors, family members, friends, and perhaps customers or clients. New employees are especially likely to use information from external sources to shape their perceptions of the job and the company. Long-term employees also respond to information provided by others. However, they tend to be more selective about their information sources than are new employees. Recent research suggests that for some aspects of work, social information about the job may be more important to understanding how employees view the job than is the actual "objective" job. Managers frequently overlook the impact that information from various sources may have on employees' perceptions. In fact, changing the job may have little effect on employees' feelings about the job if information provided by others remains unchanged. © 1989.

author list (cited authors)

  • Thomas, J. G., & Griffin, R. W.

citation count

  • 35

publication date

  • September 1989