The Role of Leaders in Managing Envy and its Consequences for Competition in Organizations

Leadership Lessons from Compelling Contexts

ISBN: 978-1-78560-942-8, eISBN: 978-1-78560-941-1

ISSN: 1479-3571

Publication date: 3 March 2016


In this chapter, we explore the implications of benign and malicious envy in the workplace and suggest methods by which leaders can manage the situational context to minimize negative responses to envy and promote positive responses. We argue that three aspects of the organizational context are especially influential in the development of envy: perceptions of fairness, employees’ feelings of control over their situation, and organizational culture. All three impact whether felt envy will be benign or malicious. In addition, the right organizational culture can prevent any feelings of malicious envy from leading to undesirable behaviors. We suggest that by fostering justice, promoting employee feelings of control, and exemplifying an ethical organizational culture leaders can manage the manifestation of envy and resulting behaviors in a positive direction.



Floyd, T., Hoogland, C. and Smith, R. (2016), "The Role of Leaders in Managing Envy and its Consequences for Competition in Organizations", Leadership Lessons from Compelling Contexts (Monographs in Leadership and Management, Vol. 8), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, pp. 129-156.

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