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Article
Publication date: 15 July 2022

Shafaq Aftab, Irfan Saleem and Rakesh Belwal

This study aims to invoke social comparison theory and researches mainly on leaders’ downward envy at workplaces in a collectivist culture. The study also aims to infer…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to invoke social comparison theory and researches mainly on leaders’ downward envy at workplaces in a collectivist culture. The study also aims to infer and explain the constructive and destructive behaviour of benign envy (BE) and malicious envy (ME) in the workplace by studying supervisor-subordinate dyads.

Design/methodology/approach

A survey was conducted to test the proposed hypotheses. The sample included 352 randomly chosen supervisor-subordinate dyads from registered software houses in Pakistan. Partial least square SEM was used to test the proposed model and hypotheses.

Findings

This research identified that the leaders' gratitude and workplace friendship encourage leaders to adopt a levelling-up strategy to encounter benign envy (BE). In contrast, subordinates’ low level of loyalty and affect towards supervisors cause ME. The study also found that BE motivates frustrated supervisors to behave positively, whereas ME triggers the envious supervisor to threaten their aides with abusive supervision. However, envious supervisors with high core self-evaluation and gratitude are more likely to reflect self-improvement.

Practical implications

This study gives key insights to organisations on recognising the potential of downward envy, using it purposefully, and managing the consequences constructively. For instance, organizations could train leaders to understand the holistic view of downward envy to help them focus on self-improvement instead of abusing employees. In addition, training employees on envy could help them demonstrate warmth and competence.

Originality/value

The study is original and valuable in three aspects. Theoretically, this study develops a generic framework for dealing with downward envy. Contextually, the study brings a piece of evidence from software houses in Asia to study downward envy. Practically, this study suggests tactics to deal with downward envy in family-owned tech firms operating in emerging markets.

Details

Asia-Pacific Journal of Business Administration, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1757-4323

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 11 July 2006

Jennifer R. Dunn and Maurice E. Schweitzer

In this chapter, we develop a model of envy and unethical decision making. We postulate that unfavorable comparisons will induce envy in outperformed coworkers, who are…

Abstract

In this chapter, we develop a model of envy and unethical decision making. We postulate that unfavorable comparisons will induce envy in outperformed coworkers, who are subsequently motivated to engage in unethical acts to harm the envied target. In particular, we consider the differential effects of unfavorable individual-level and unfavorable group-level social comparisons on attitudes and norms for engaging in social undermining behaviors. Envy is a self-sanctioned emotion and often difficult to detect. Even so, envy is likely to be both prevalent in and harmful to organizations. Organizational culture may play an important role in moderating the prevalence and consequences of envy within organizations. For example, managerial actions designed to boost organizational identity may significantly curtail envy within their organization.

Details

Ethics in Groups
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-405-8

Book part
Publication date: 3 March 2016

Theresa M. Floyd, Charles E. Hoogland and Richard H. Smith

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…

Abstract

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.

Details

Leadership Lessons from Compelling Contexts
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-942-8

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 2 September 2021

Anwar Sadat Shimul, Billy Sung and Ian Phau

This study aims to investigate how luxury brand attachment (LBA) and perceived envy may influence schadenfreude. In addition, the moderating influence of consumers’ need…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to investigate how luxury brand attachment (LBA) and perceived envy may influence schadenfreude. In addition, the moderating influence of consumers’ need for uniqueness (CNFU) and private vs public consumption is examined.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were collected from a consumer panel in Australia. A total of 365 valid and useable responses were analysed through structural equation modelling in AMOS 26.

Findings

The results show that LBA has a significant impact on perceived envy. Consumers’ perceived envy also results in schadenfreude. However, LBA did not have any significant impact on schadenfreude. The moderating influence of CNFU is partially supported. This research further confirms that consumers’ public consumption has more relevance to visible social comparison and potential feelings of malicious envy towards others.

Practical implications

The research model may work as a strategic tool to identify, which group of consumers (e.g. high vs low attachment) displays stronger envy and schadenfreude. Brand managers can also explore the personality traits and psychological dynamics that influence the consumers to express emotional bonds and malicious joy within the context of consumer-brand relationships.

Originality/value

This is one of the first few studies that have examined the relationships amongst consumers’ brand attachment, perceived envy, schadenfreude and need for uniqueness within a luxury branding context.

Details

Journal of Consumer Marketing, vol. 38 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0736-3761

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 16 November 2021

Jinsheng Cui, Mengwei Zhang, Chaonan Yin, Li Li and Jianan Zhong

This paper aimed to explore the influence of envy on impulsive consumption from aspects of the internal psychological mechanism and boundary conditions.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aimed to explore the influence of envy on impulsive consumption from aspects of the internal psychological mechanism and boundary conditions.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on social comparison theory, four studies were conducted in this research: The first study explored the effect of envy on impulsive consumption; the second study explored the moderating effect of self-monitoring and the mediating effect of materialism; the third study explored the moderating effect of product type and the fourth study explored the effectiveness of social comparison contexts on the arousal of envy.

Findings

Study 1 showed that envy could significantly trigger consumers' impulsive consumption. Study 2 indicated that participants experiencing self-monitoring had a higher level of materialism and a stronger propensity to consume impulsively once the emotion of envy emerged. Study 3 suggested that when participants were more envious, their levels of materialism increased with more impulsivity to buy material products. Study 4 revealed that upward comparisons led to a higher level of envy and re-validated the mediating role of materialism between envy and impulsive consumption.

Research limitations/implications

This study provides evidence for the association between envy and consumer behaviour and clarifies the underlying mechanisms of the relationship between envy and impulsive consumption.

Practical implications

Marketers could take advantage of consumers' envy after social comparisons without damaging brand image.

Originality/value

First, this study extended the effects of envy on consumer decisions, suggesting that envy stimulates impulsive consumption by increasing consumers' materialism. Second, this study revealed the boundary condition of product type, namely, material and experiential.

Details

Asia Pacific Journal of Marketing and Logistics, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-5855

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 13 November 2020

He Peng, Chris Bell and Yiran Li

Although studies have demonstrated that knowledge hiding is an important inhibitor of organizational innovation, current research does not clearly address how intragroup…

Abstract

Purpose

Although studies have demonstrated that knowledge hiding is an important inhibitor of organizational innovation, current research does not clearly address how intragroup relationship conflict influences knowledge hiding. This study aims to identify the underlying mechanism between intra-group relationship conflict and knowledge hiding.

Design/methodology/approach

Drawing on affective events theory (AET), the authors propose a theoretical model and empirically test it by applying hierarchical regression analysis and a bootstrapping approach to data from a multi-wave survey of 224 employees in China.

Findings

Consistent with AET, the empirical results show that envy mediates perceived intragroup relationship conflict and knowledge hiding. As predicted, trait competitiveness moderates the indirect effect of perceived intragroup relationship conflict on knowledge hiding via envy.

Originality/value

The results support an AET perspective whereby knowledge hiding is shaped by relationship conflict, envy and trait competitiveness. This study introduces the novel proposition that relationship conflict and competitiveness influence envy, and consequently knowledge hiding.

Details

International Journal of Conflict Management, vol. 32 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1044-4068

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 22 December 2020

Dheeraj Sharma, Madhurima Mishra, Shivendra Kumar Pandey and Koustab Ghosh

This study aims to examine the role of leader-member exchange social comparison (LMXSC) perceptions in triggering the instigation of uncivil behavior in the workplace…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to examine the role of leader-member exchange social comparison (LMXSC) perceptions in triggering the instigation of uncivil behavior in the workplace. This study also explores the intervening role of envy and the buffering role of aggression-preventive supervisor behavior within the proposed relationship.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were collected in two phases separated by an interval of four weeks. The final sample consisted of 224 full-time white-collar employees working in five large pharmaceutical manufacturing organizations in India.

Findings

The findings indicate that employees’ subjective perceptions of being involved in poorer-quality LMX relationships than their workgroup members generate envy, which, in turn, evokes them to instigate uncivil behaviors onto those higher-LMX counterparts. The indirect effect of LMX social comparison on instigated workplace incivility through envy gets attenuated when supervisors engage in aggression-preventive behavior.

Practical implications

To protect organizations from the financial and productivity losses associated with incivility, supervisors are encouraged to exhibit aggression-preventive behavior if they form differentiated exchange relationships with the subordinates in their teams. Supervisors are further advised to avoid the altogether neglect of lower-LMX subordinates as doing so may give rise to negative emotions (envy) and behavior (incivility) among them.

Originality/value

This study expands the limited body of knowledge on the antecedents of uncivil employee behavior in the workplace. Specifically, it unveils that incivility toward coworkers may be stemming from unfavorable LMX social comparisons and ensuing negative emotions such as envy. It also offers insights on reducing uncivil behavior by highlighting that the impact of LMXSC and envy on incivility instigation gets buffered in the presence of aggression-preventive supervisor behavior.

Details

International Journal of Conflict Management, vol. 32 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1044-4068

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 20 July 2021

İrge Şener, Melisa Erdilek Karabay, Meral Elçi and Halil Erman

Based on the situational approach for envy, the purpose of this paper is to examine the effect of two-dimensional workplace envy (being envied and envying others) on the…

Abstract

Purpose

Based on the situational approach for envy, the purpose of this paper is to examine the effect of two-dimensional workplace envy (being envied and envying others) on the task and contextual performance of employees working in either private or public sector organizations.

Design/methodology/approach

This study was conducted on survey data collected from 988 private sector employees and 530 employees from the public sector employed in Istanbul. Following a quantitative empirical design, structural equation modeling was used to test the hypotheses.

Findings

The study results revealed that envying-others dimension has a significant negative effect on both task performance and contextual performance. In addition, the findings indicate more envious feelings of private sector employees than public sector employees. For public sector employees, male participants were found to envy others more than females.

Research limitations/implications

In addition to the contributions, this study has its limitations. First, although the study was carried out with a comprehensive sample, it is limited to the views of 1,518 employees in Istanbul and is a cross-sectional study. Also, employee performance is evaluated through self-reporting, which forms another limitation; it could have been more reliable for the supervisors to assess their subordinates' performance.

Practical implications

Apart from scholars, our findings have implications for practitioners. Feelings such as envy that comes with a sense of competition can create an environment that stimulates people, motivates them to work, can make them productive and can also cause an ultimately destructive situation. This makes it critical to manage envy in the workplace. Though there may be facilitators behind it, one crucial factor that fuels envy in the workplace is the lack of fair human resources policies and systems. Still, human resources management is undeveloped in most public organizations. With effective human resources management, there may be some roadmaps for managers to dissolve conflicts arising from envy. First, it is imperative to have systems that will separate the employee from the others, which everyone will accept, strengthening the feelings of justice among employees. Envy often occurs following a social comparison. Management can implement an incentive system that supports employee collaboration and avoid nepotism. Especially in private organizations where the competition is more among employees, managers should give more attention to understand their subordinates' feelings. The managers' attention to expressing their feelings toward their subordinates could establish an equal distance within the workplace. In this sense, language selection is critical, and managers should be mindful of linguistic triggers. Managers should not avoid giving both positive and negative feedback to their employees. Unwarranted and unsystematic reward and/or punishment systems, made with the good intentions of increasing competition, can trigger envy. Finally, managers should implement an open-door policy and open communication that will encourage all team members to be transparent to each other.

Originality/value

The study was based on a rationale that envy has detrimental workplace outcomes that lead to low task and contextual performance. Although there exists a recent interest for examining the relation between workplace envy and employee performance, based on being envied and envying others dimensions, these studies are limited. This study focuses on these dimensions and performance relations, and it also provides a comparative outlook for public and private sector employees in Turkey in terms of workplace envy.

Details

Kybernetes, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0368-492X

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 16 February 2021

Ana Suárez Vázquez and Manuel Chica Serrano

This paper aims to fill a gap in the existing literature by answering the following question: is the effect of envy on people's intention to share information the same in…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to fill a gap in the existing literature by answering the following question: is the effect of envy on people's intention to share information the same in offline settings and on online social networks?

Design/methodology/approach

Two studies demonstrate (1) how envy that results from upward social comparisons affects people's intention to share information and (2) the difference between online and offline settings.

Findings

The likelihood of sharing information susceptible of triggering envy is lower in online social networks than in an offline scenario.

Research limitations/implications

In digital environments, feelings of envy depend on the number of social comparisons that the individual is exposed to.

Practical implications

This research recommends (1) incorporating tools that allow online social network users to feel part of their network's successes, (2) promoting offline diffusion of information and (3) encouraging people to play an active role when using online social networks.

Social implications

Benefits can be derived from offering tools that permit receivers to take advantage of the selective self-presentation of other users. Such tools could have positive consequences for the welfare of online social network users.

Originality/value

To date, the literature has paid no attention to envy as an engine of information sharing. This aspect is especially relevant when discussing platforms whose main goal is precisely information sharing and that offer fertile ground for upward social comparisons.

Details

Internet Research, vol. 31 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1066-2243

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 3 August 2021

Wen Wu, Dan Ni, Shaoxue Wu, Lu Lu, Xijing Zhang and Shengyue Hao

The extant literature mainly focuses on the antecedents and outcomes of envy at the individual level. Workgroups have become ideal units for research on envy given the…

Abstract

Purpose

The extant literature mainly focuses on the antecedents and outcomes of envy at the individual level. Workgroups have become ideal units for research on envy given the ubiquitous teamwork in organizations. This study aims to examine whether, how and when envy climate can influence group performance.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors analyzed data collected in three waves from a sample of 72 groups with 475 team members in full-service hotels in China.

Findings

Envy climate was negatively associated with group performance via intragroup relationship conflict. Furthermore, competitive climate moderated the effect of envy climate on intragroup relationship conflict and the indirect effect of envy climate on group performance through intragroup relationship conflict.

Practical implications

The present research offers organizations valuable insights into how to minimize the climate of envy and competition within a group and relieve the relationship conflict that may damage group performance.

Originality/value

Drawing on a social functional perspective of emotions, this study enriches the envy research by conceptualizing envy climate as a collective perception and clarifying its effect on group performance. The authors extend the understanding of envy climate by showing how a climate of envy embedded in a group influences group performance and also explain when group members may be more likely to act in a destructive way to respond to such a climate.

Details

International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, vol. 33 no. 10
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-6119

Keywords

1 – 10 of over 5000