Search results

1 – 10 of over 126000
To view the access options for this content please click here
Article
Publication date: 20 February 2009

Kimberly A. Eddleston

The purpose of this paper is to apply social comparison theory to the study of managerial careers. It is proposed that how managers evaluate their career progression in…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to apply social comparison theory to the study of managerial careers. It is proposed that how managers evaluate their career progression in comparison with the accomplishments of others will affect how they feel about their careers and organizations.

Design/methodology/approach

Male and female managers who were similar in age (±5 years) and from the same organization, functional area, management level, and region were asked to participate in the study. Data from 392 managers from lower and middle levels were used to test the study hypotheses. Respondents completed measures of upward comparisons, downward comparisons, enacted aspirations, competitiveness of work group, career satisfaction and turnover intentions.

Findings

Study results showed that social comparisons influence managers' turnover intentions and career satisfaction. Upward comparisons were found to be positively related to turnover intentions and career satisfaction. Downward comparisons were found to be negatively related to turnover intentions and positively related to career satisfaction. In addition, the competitiveness of the managers' work group and their enacted aspirations were found to be significant moderators. These findings emphasize the importance of relative standards in predicting managerial career attitudes.

Research limitations/implications

The measures created to assess the degree to which individuals make downward and upward social comparisons when assessing their career progress should be tested in additional occupations and studies. Future research should investigate how social comparisons influence career attitudes beyond considering feelings of relative deprivation. In particular, researchers should aim to understand when upward comparisons are threatening or motivating.

Practical implications

The findings demonstrate that social comparisons can be quite prevalent within organizations and that the competitiveness of the organizational climate can have a significant impact on how social comparisons affect managers' career satisfaction. Therefore, organizations should be mindful of the climates they endorse. Furthermore, findings suggest that organizations should encourage managers to participate in career strategies since career strategies associated with enacted aspirations were found to enhance the effects of the social comparison process, leading to an increase in managers' career satisfaction and a decrease in their turnover intentions.

Originality/value

This is the first known study to empirically examine how upward and downward comparisons affect managers' turnover intentions and career satisfaction.

Details

Career Development International, vol. 14 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1362-0436

Keywords

To view the access options for this content please click here
Article
Publication date: 5 December 2018

Yongzhan Li

Previous research has linked upward social comparison on social network sites (SNSs) to depressive symptoms; however, the mechanism underlying this relationship remains…

Abstract

Purpose

Previous research has linked upward social comparison on social network sites (SNSs) to depressive symptoms; however, the mechanism underlying this relationship remains unclear. The purpose of this paper is to explore the roles of envy and self-efficacy in the relationship between upward social comparison on SNSs and depressive symptoms.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on the social comparison theory and previous related literature, a moderated mediation model integrating upward social comparison on SNSs, depressive symptoms, envy and self-efficacy was developed and empirically examined based on the data collected from 934 Chinese high school students.

Findings

The structural equation modeling analysis shows that envy partially mediates the relationship between upward social comparison on SNSs and depressive symptoms, whereas self-efficacy moderated both the direct effect of upward social comparison on SNSs on depressive symptoms and the mediating effect of envy in the relationship between upward social comparison on SNSs and depressive symptoms.

Practical implications

The findings offer interesting implications for guiding adolescents to use SNSs properly. This study found that envy and self-efficacy act as a mediator and moderator, respectively, between upward social comparison on SNSs and depressive symptoms, indicating that reducing envy and enhancing self-efficacy should be feasible to alleviate the negative effect of SNSs use.

Social implications

In order to alleviate the negative effect of SNSs use, parents and educators should direct adolescents to view others’ achievements and happiness properly and manage to improve self-efficacy among adolescents with poor self-efficacy through effective training.

Originality/value

Through building and examining a moderated mediation model integrating envy and self-efficacy into the relationship between upward social comparison on SNSs and depressive symptoms, the present study advances our understanding of how and when upward social comparison on SNSs augments the risk of depressive symptoms among adolescents.

Details

Internet Research, vol. 29 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1066-2243

Keywords

To view the access options for this content please click here
Article
Publication date: 25 July 2019

Myungsuh Lim and Yoon Yang

The purpose of this paper is to confirm the causal relationship, in an upward social comparison, of envy, loneliness and subjective well-being (SWB). Particularly, the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to confirm the causal relationship, in an upward social comparison, of envy, loneliness and subjective well-being (SWB). Particularly, the authors address the mediating roles, each, of benign envy (BE) and malicious envy (ME) as different types of envy. In addition, the authors explore the grandiosity of users, in terms of narcissistic personalities, and whether it has discriminatory impacts on this causal relationship.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors re-enacted a situation that users confront on Facebook as a quasi-experiment to determine if there is an effectual relationship among variables in the path of upward comparison, envy, loneliness and SWB. First, the authors divided envy into BE and ME to examine its mediating role in the path of upward comparison and loneliness. Second, the authors examined the differentiated effects of both kinds of envy and loneliness on SWB. Finally, the authors determined if users’ grandiose, narcissistic behaviour has moderating effects on the path of each variable.

Findings

The results revealed that upward comparison has a positive effect on both kinds of envy; however, in the path of loneliness, only ME operated and played a mediating role. Furthermore, grandiosity had a partially significant moderating effect.

Research limitations/implications

This study has the following theoretical implications. The mediating effect of envy was identified in the path of upward comparison, loneliness and SWB. Research limitation is as follows: this study could not effectively reflect individual differences. It is necessary to include individual difference variables in later research, including characteristics of social comparison.

Practical implications

This study has the following practical implications. Social comparison on Facebook poses a more serious problem than it does offline; therefore, users need to protect their own SWB. If users can actively cope with the information of others and selectively choose their upward comparison targets, they can reduce their loneliness and improve their SWB as expected in the hypotheses.

Social implications

The “unfriending” events that occur on Facebook may be explained by the mediating phenomenon of ME. The research showed that the excessive narcissism of users on Facebook is an inconsistent information with real selves of users, thus triggering the ME, which causes avoidance from other Facebook users.

Originality/value

The authors have proven that social comparison and envy emotion are the causes of the loneliness, while the authors are on Facebook. Especially, the mediation role of BE and ME are discussed in a distinguished manner. Also, the authors confirmed that the influence of narcissism could further aggravate the problem of loneliness. Finally, the authors found that the variables of the study also affect the SWB of the Facebook user.

Details

Online Information Review, vol. 43 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1468-4527

Keywords

To view the access options for this content please click here
Article
Publication date: 7 February 2018

Xiaoying Zheng, Ernest Baskin and Siqing Peng

This paper aims to examine whether social comparison in a prior, nonconsumption circumstance (e.g. in an academic setting) affects consumers’ materialism and subsequent…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to examine whether social comparison in a prior, nonconsumption circumstance (e.g. in an academic setting) affects consumers’ materialism and subsequent spending propensity, and explores the incidental feeling of envy as the underlying mechanism.

Design/methodology/approach

Four experiments have been conducted to test these hypotheses. Study 1 manipulated social comparison in an academic domain, and measured undergraduate students’ materialism after they compared themselves to a superior student or to an inferior student. Study 2 used a recall task to manipulate social comparison and examine the mediating role of envy. Study 3 examined which of the two types of envy (benign or malicious) affected materialism. Study 4 examined the downstream consequences on spending propensity in both public and private consumption contexts.

Findings

The results suggest that consumers place greater importance on material goods and are more likely to spend money on publicly visible products after making upward social comparisons than after making downward social comparisons or no comparisons. Furthermore, envy acts as the mediator for the observed effect of incidental social comparison on materialism.

Originality/value

First, this study improves our understanding of the consequences of social comparison and envy by demonstrating that incidental envy (both benign and malicious) experienced in a prior, unrelated social comparison can motivate materialistic pursuits. Second, the present research contributes to the compensatory consumption literature by revealing that, in a social comparison context, envy is the affective underpinning that gives rise to the motivation to engage in compensatory consumer behavior. Third, the findings also enrich materialism research by exploring an important situational antecedent in driving materialistic orientation.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. 52 no. 5/6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

Keywords

To view the access options for this content please click here
Article
Publication date: 14 March 2016

Sharon Foley, Hang-yue Ngo and Raymond Loi

The purpose of this paper is to extend and test a theory of uncertainty and directional social comparisons. Prior studies have posited that uncertainty leads to increased…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to extend and test a theory of uncertainty and directional social comparisons. Prior studies have posited that uncertainty leads to increased upward and downward social comparisons. The authors ' view is that uncertainty affects upward and downward comparisons differentially. They test their theory in the Chinese workplace, and focus specifically on employees’ comparisons of career progress. Workplace consequences of social comparisons are also investigated.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors achieve their objectives by collecting data from respondents in China that measure uncertainty, directional social comparisons, organizational commitment and job satisfaction. They use a longitudinal design to assess causality.

Findings

This paper found that perceived organizational support, an antecedent that lowers uncertainty in the workplace, is related to upward social comparison, whereas psychological entitlement, an uncertainty-raising antecedent, is related to downward social comparison. Upward social comparison positively affected organizational commitment, whereas downward social comparison positively impacted job satisfaction.

Research limitations/implications

The data collection relied on self-reports and hence the findings may be adversely affected by common method bias. Another limitation involves the generalizability of results, given that the respondents were drawn from three large firms in China.

Originality/value

This paper indicates that directional social comparison processes serve as an important mechanism for understanding how employees’ work attitudes are developed. It also demonstrates the applicability of social comparison theory to the study of organizational behavior in China.

Details

International Journal of Organizational Analysis, vol. 24 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1934-8835

Keywords

To view the access options for this content please click here
Article
Publication date: 22 March 2021

Zhongpeng Cao

From the perspective of customer segmentation, most scholars show more interest in the very important person (VIP) customer’s service experience and satisfaction; however…

Abstract

Purpose

From the perspective of customer segmentation, most scholars show more interest in the very important person (VIP) customer’s service experience and satisfaction; however, the way in which ordinary customers view VIP services has received less attention. Based on fairness heuristic theory and social comparison theory, this study aims to examine the impact of the social visibility of VIP services on ordinary customers’ satisfaction and explored the underlying mechanisms and boundary conditions of this effect.

Design/methodology/approach

Two experiments were conducted, Study 1 verified the main effect and mediating effect, Study 2 tested the moderating effect.

Findings

The results show that the social visibility of VIP services decreases ordinary customers’ satisfaction and perceived fairness mediates this effect. The deservingness of VIP status moderates the connection between social visibility and perceived fairness.

Research limitations/implications

This research changes the objects of VIP services research and focuses on ordinary customers as its main group and expands the scope of social comparisons among customers.

Practical implications

The findings expand the scope and perspective of research on VIP services and provide guidance to service providers to reduce ordinary customers’ feelings of unfairness so as to improve customer satisfaction.

Originality/value

This study explores the effect of the social visibility of VIP services on ordinary customer satisfaction from the perspective of perceived fairness, as well as the underlying mechanism and boundary conditions of the effect.

Details

Journal of Services Marketing, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0887-6045

Keywords

To view the access options for this content please click here
Article
Publication date: 1 June 2001

Harold J. Ogden and Ramesh Venkat

Compares the social comparison experience on young Japanese adults with a similar one on young Canadians. Reveals that satisfaction of the Japanese with their possessions…

Abstract

Compares the social comparison experience on young Japanese adults with a similar one on young Canadians. Reveals that satisfaction of the Japanese with their possessions did not change with the social comparison experience in the same way as it did with Canadians. Suggests the Japanese reaction was on a more general level of effect with possessions, rather than simply satisfaction as was the case in Canada. Observes an interaction between direction of social comparison and respondents’ gender that was considerably different in nature from that of Canadians. Suggests that Canadians had a stronger desire for more and better possessions, willingness to strive for more possessions, together with a high degree of how possessions contribute to self‐image.

Details

Asia Pacific Journal of Marketing and Logistics, vol. 13 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-5855

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 9 February 2021

Helena Lee

The purpose of the study is to investigate the psychological safety, organisation support and emotion in the workplace during the transition from office to home working…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of the study is to investigate the psychological safety, organisation support and emotion in the workplace during the transition from office to home working during the COVID-19 pandemic crisis. Past studies on emotion in the workplace mostly focus on types of discreet emotion, in relation to positive and negative emotions (e.g. Connelly and Torrence, 2018; Rubino et al., 2013). Other studies reported that emotions are derived from social comparison processes (Matta and Dyne, 2020). During a crisis, the emotional responses of the workers and organisational support to the different group of employees differ due to the social exchange relationship. Hence, this study contributes to the field of organisational support by examining the organisational support as the investment of both physical and psychological resources, and the emotional responses of employees to the COVID-19 pandemic crisis during transition from office to work-from-home setting. Through thick descriptions of the workers' emotion responses to this transition, the research examined how organisational support potentially impacts the worker's experience of psychological safety.

Design/methodology/approach

The study was conducted in the Singapore context. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Singapore Government imposed regulatory restrictions, the “Circuit Breaker” from April 7 2020 to curb the spread of the virus infections. Most workplaces from the public service agencies to the private enterprises implemented work from home arrangements for most of the employees. The data were generated from an online survey that included self-reported text-based narratives in response to open-ended questions. Open-ended questions effectively allowed respondents to define the real-world situation in their perspectives. Salaried workers from both the public and private organisations were invited to take part in this research. Respondents comprise full-time, part-time and contracted employees from the diverse sectors. The final sample size of 131 respondents was used. A qualitative data analysis was employed to gain deeper insight into the workers' emotional reactions, including their personal experiences of organisational support and psychological safety, during the transition from office to work from home setting.

Findings

The qualitative examination, through thematic coding, reveals the phenomenon of emotion triggered by social comparison emotion and critical socio-emotional resources (i.e. task, flexibility, communication, health and safety and social support) during a health crisis. Specifically, the employees' emotional reactions were elicited from the perceived organisational support, in how organisation cares for their well-being and work contributions and, in turn, influence the psychological safety. For example, the approach of the online communication (as a form of organisation support) practised by the managers has implications on the different levels of psychological safety experienced by the employee. In addition, emotional resources can be interpreted as organisation support. The findings revealed that emotions such as anxiety, stress, unfairness, inferiority and vulnerability are triggered by perceived inequity and comparison with the decisions or resources of the referent others of higher level such as the management (upward social comparison emotion). On the other hand, the emotions of pride, empathy, shared goals and support are generated by the care, collective interest and comparison of the referent others of lower level such as the subordinate (downward social comparison emotion). This study adds theoretical depth to the phenomenon of socio-emotional resources and the implications of psychological safety and organisational support of different work groups in the organisation.

Practical implications

The practical implications contribute to human resource management practices to understanding the socio-emotional resources of the core and periphery groups. It is imperative for organisation to exercise equity in the allocation of resources and treatment between different groups (core and periphery). The implications of this study show the phenomenon of emotional responses arise from comparison within groups linking with perceived fairness. The managerial decisions and supervisor management style are key factors in promoting healthy emotion and psychological safety. Management style such as micromanagement and control were not favourable among employees, and autonomy, trust and empathy resonate with employees. During a crisis and major workplace changes, demonstrating employee care through feedback, timely and specific information sharing and participatory form of communication contribute to the positive perception of procedural and interactional fairness. In the initial phase of workplace change amid crisis, some element of control is inevitable. Supervisor support may come in the form of open communication in conveying the rationale for the need to exercise control in one process and flexibility may be accorded in another task. The empowerment of workplace decisions, open communication in shared goals and assurance and trust are critical in enhancing a high psychological safety.

Originality/value

This study examines the roles of emotion, psychological safety and organisational support among different groups of workers (full-time, part-time and contracted employees) in the context of COVID-19 pandemic. There has been scant study in examining the core and periphery groups relating to these research topics. The findings in this study reveal the phenomenon of emotions triggered by social comparison during the workplace changes and the display of different socio-emotional resources within groups. This qualitative research supported the past studies that autonomy in decision-making, supervisor support, employee care and trust affect psychological safety.

Details

Journal of Organizational Effectiveness: People and Performance, vol. 8 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2051-6614

Keywords

To view the access options for this content please click here
Article
Publication date: 10 December 2019

Misook Heo, Natalie Toomey and Jung Sook Song

The purpose of this study is to investigate how different types of contribution awareness information influence knowledge sharing motivation and contribution persistence.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to investigate how different types of contribution awareness information influence knowledge sharing motivation and contribution persistence.

Design/methodology/approach

The independent variable of this experimental study was contribution awareness information with four levels: self-contribution, absolute social-comparison, relative social-comparison and control. The dependent variables were self-rated knowledge sharing motivation measured on a six-point Likert scale and contribution persistence measured by number of contributions. A total of 182 knowledge workers voluntarily completed online participation. Participants were randomly assigned to one of the four intervention groups.

Findings

The study found that the self-contribution group outperformed the other groups in both knowledge sharing motivation and contribution persistence; this observation was significant compared with the absolute social-comparison and control groups. The impact of self-contribution frequency information was stronger for contribution persistence than for self-evaluated knowledge sharing motivation, highlighting the gap between perception and behavior. It is also noteworthy that comparative information negatively influenced knowledge sharing motivation and contribution persistence, implying that social comparison played a role in priming individuals to focus on dissimilarities between the comparison target and themselves.

Originality/value

This study provides behavior-based evidence supporting social comparison theory and the selective accessibility model in the field of knowledge sharing outside of an organizational context. This study also offers the practical advice that participants’ knowledge sharing motivation and contribution persistence, especially newly joining members, can be increased by the inclusion of self-contribution information and conversely decreased by comparative information.

Details

VINE Journal of Information and Knowledge Management Systems, vol. 50 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2059-5891

Keywords

To view the access options for this content please click here
Article
Publication date: 6 March 2019

Devlina Chatterjee, Mahendra Kumar and Kapil K. Dayma

The purpose of this paper is to understand the effect of perceived income security (IS), materialistic values and socially driven aspirations on the financial well-being…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to understand the effect of perceived income security (IS), materialistic values and socially driven aspirations on the financial well-being (FWB) of young Indian adults.

Design/methodology/approach

A questionnaire was designed using available scales for FWB and materialism. Questions were incorporated to measure social comparison and IS. A structural equation approach using data from 327 respondents was used to test a hypothesized model of FWB.

Findings

The IS has the largest positive effect, while unemployment has the largest negative effect on FWB. Overt materialism (OM) negatively affects FWB. Socially motivated aspirations have an indirect negative effect mediated by OM. Among demographic variables, income, education and stable employment increase FWB. Males have lower levels of FWB.

Research limitations/implications

The data includes 327 respondents that were polled using convenience sampling. The results may not be generalizable to India at large.

Social implications

A common consideration when choosing a job is the salary. However, we find that IS affects subsequent FWB to a much greater extent than income level and materialistic aspirations.

Originality/value

This is the first study to look at the relative importance of materialistic aspirations vs IS in determining FWB. The results will help policy makers in devising policies and financial service providers in designing products and services that will increase the FWB of Indians.

Details

International Journal of Bank Marketing, vol. 37 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0265-2323

Keywords

1 – 10 of over 126000