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Article
Publication date: 21 October 2021

Antonio Ghezzi

This study aims to introduce the original idea of competitive empathy, to go beyond competitive advantage and help managers and entrepreneurs strategize with a shared purpose.

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to introduce the original idea of competitive empathy, to go beyond competitive advantage and help managers and entrepreneurs strategize with a shared purpose.

Design/methodology/approach

This study builds on and originally combines seminal works on empathy in the fields of psychology and management, which are extended to embrace the notion of empathy toward competitors. Empirical research leveraged different methods, including “class as a lab” research; field studies; and collaborative research.

Findings

To support managers’ and entrepreneurs’ effort to be more empathic and emotionally intelligent when dealing with competitors, the study introduces the “Competitive Empathy Catalyst” tool, which identifies three layers – namely, orientation, execution and foundation – where to look for common ground between your company’s and your competitors’ strategy. A set of principles that should inspire managers’ strategic behavior and action to enable competitive empathy are also proposed: search for a non-conflicting identification with competitors and avoid “egotism”; adopt “perspective-taking”; practice “mirroring”; aim at the “greater good”; leverage “vicarious learning” and apply “cautionary trust.”

Practical implications

Looking at competitors from a different angle and applying competitive empathy as a strategic device can uncover a plethora of opportunities benefiting the company’s strategy and ability to create, deliver and capture value.

Originality/value

Empathy in management theory and practice has been traditionally associated with interaction with customers, employees and stakeholders. Competitive empathy counterintuitively applies empathy to a category of players that were largely left out from the discussion, that is, competitors.

Details

Journal of Business Strategy, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0275-6668

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Article
Publication date: 11 September 2021

Mousa Albashrawi, Yousef Asiri, Muhammad Binsawad and Latifah Alqahtani

The purpose of this study is to explore the impact of social media use on both empathy and well-being through using a five-factor model (FFM) of personality in the context…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to explore the impact of social media use on both empathy and well-being through using a five-factor model (FFM) of personality in the context of Saudi Arabia.

Design/methodology/approach

Data were collected from the 13 regions in Saudi Arabia. Confirmatory factor analysis was used to measure the reliability and validity of the study’s constructs and a structural equation modeling technique was applied to test the study hypotheses.

Findings

With a sample of 450 users, the regression results indicate a less significant relationship between personality and social media use, as well as between personality and affective empathy, while a more significant relationship between personality and cognitive empathy. Also, individuals’ well-being are influenced directly by the heavy use of social media.

Research limitations/implications

The cross-sectional design used in this research may not be able to provide the true essence of the hypothesized relationships compared to the cause-effect design. This study furthers the understanding of the role of personality on empathy and well-being in social media among Saudis from one side and provides insights to professionals for better improvement of social media and so better individuals’ well-being from the other side.

Originality/value

This paper fills an untapped gap in a developing country context by exploring the relationship between the usage of social media and the two dimensions of empathy, which, in turn, influence well-being under the theoretical lens of an FFM personality.

Details

Journal of Asia Business Studies, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1558-7894

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Article
Publication date: 26 August 2021

Vishal Arghode, Ann Lathan, Meera Alagaraja, Kumaran Rajaram and Gary N. McLean

This paper aims to conceptualize and discuss empathic organizational culture and leadership along with organizational implications.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to conceptualize and discuss empathic organizational culture and leadership along with organizational implications.

Design/methodology/approach

The authors reviewed literature to conceptualize empathic organizational culture and leadership. They referred to Hofstede’s organizational culture concept and studies on empathy to explore how leader–follower relationships are influenced by a leader’s empathic disposition.

Findings

Organizational leadership is instrumental in shaping employee performance. While work design, culture, peer support and resource accessibility are discernible, leadership style, control and others are covert. Leaders’ empathic attitudes and dispositions can positively influence organizational functions for improved performance. This review suggests that organizational culture should support growth, proper functioning and effective coordination between employees for improved organizational effectiveness.

Research limitations/implications

The authors conducted searches in leadership and management journals to help conceptualize leaders’ empathic disposition. Future researchers may explore other bodies of literature and the cultural demographic differences in exhibiting empathic leadership and its effectiveness. Researchers can explore how empathic culture relates to job motivation, satisfaction and commitment. The authors suggest that future research may explore how employees’ and supervisors’ behaviors and interactions can create an empathic organizational culture.

Practical implications

The authors identify the characteristics in an empathic leader to articulate the role of empathy in leadership. Alignment between person, group norms and organizational values is more important than the existence of culture.

Originality/value

Empathy is studied by researchers from various disciplines. Similarly, employee well-being has received attention from organizational researchers from many fields. However, researchers have given inadequate attention to conceptualizing an empathic organizational culture and its interrelationship with leadership. The authors offer a more positive perspective to the leader-member exchange (LMX) research by describing how leaders can sustain positive relationships with employees rather than the purely transactional exchanges that characterize LMX.

Details

European Journal of Training and Development, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2046-9012

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Article
Publication date: 9 August 2021

Emily Anne Tarrant and Alison Torn

This study aims to explore the ways in which young people and prison staff (Prison Officers) within a youth custodial establishment experience empathy. Previous research…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to explore the ways in which young people and prison staff (Prison Officers) within a youth custodial establishment experience empathy. Previous research tends to view empathy as a stable trait and one which people can develop through individual-centred therapy. There has been little consideration of the impact of relationship factors and context in relation to empathy experience and expression. The current study aims to address this by exploring the role of the custodial context in shaping empathy, including the potential impact of relationships, environmental factors and culture.

Design/methodology/approach

A qualitative approach was used to enable breadth and depth in the exploration of this area. Individual, semi-structured interviews were carried out with a purposive sample of three young people and three Prison Officers. Data was analysed using inductive thematic analysis informed by the guidelines of Braun and Clarke (2006) and King and Horrocks (2010).

Findings

Constructed themes included “constructions of empathy”, “recipe for empathy”, “institutional investment”, “the value of empathy” and “doing empathy”. Together, they provide detailed insight into the interplay of personal and wider contextual factors influencing the experience of empathy in a custodial setting. The findings suggest that the way in which young people and staff experience empathy in the custodial environment is unique. The findings suggest that empathy takes place within the context of relationships and is influenced by the nature of those relationships, along with the wider social context within which it occurs.

Practical implications

The findings of the current study support a move away from understanding empathy as an individual personality trait and instead viewing it as a dynamic experience that is changeable based upon the relationship and the context within which it occurs. The findings suggest that interventions aiming to develop empathy should look beyond the level of the individual and the relationship and focus upon developing environments that are supportive of empathy.

Originality/value

This study provides unique insights into the subjective experience of empathy in a custodial setting, presenting as one of the first to take a more holistic approach to understand this phenomenon.

Details

Journal of Criminological Research, Policy and Practice, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2056-3841

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Article
Publication date: 22 June 2021

Fayez Ahmad and Francisco Guzmán

Despite the growing consensus that consumers extensively use online reviews and that negative reviews can significantly damage brand equity, it remains uncertain whether…

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Abstract

Purpose

Despite the growing consensus that consumers extensively use online reviews and that negative reviews can significantly damage brand equity, it remains uncertain whether negative online reviews that focus on different aspects of a service have a similar or differential effect on brand equity. This study aims to fill this gap and explores the mediating role of emotional contagion and what kind of response helps better deter their negative effect.

Design/methodology/approach

This research is conducted through a one-panel study and three experimental studies. SAS enterprise miner is used for text mining analysis and Analysis of variance (ANOVA) and Process macro models are used to analyze the experimental data.

Findings

Negative reviews related to the tangibility, responsiveness and empathy dimensions have a more detrimental effect on brand equity than negative reviews related to the assurance and reliability dimensions. The results also provide evidence that emotional contagion is more prevalent when consumers read reviews that are specific to the empathy and responsiveness dimensions. Finally, accommodative responses from the service provider are more effective in deterring the effect of a negative online review on brand equity.

Research limitations/implications

The generalizability of this study is limited to the restaurant and hotel industry.

Practical implications

The findings will also help the brand manager in understanding the comparative effect of service quality-specific negative reviews on brand equity and also the type of responses that brand managers should give to negative reviews.

Originality/value

Despite online reviews receiving increased attention in academic research, Service quality (SERVQUAL) dimension-specific reviews have not been studied until now. This study contributes to the service quality-related literature by providing evidence that not all negative online reviews related to different Service quality (SERVQUAL) dimensions equally affect brand equity.

Details

European Journal of Marketing, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0309-0566

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Article
Publication date: 8 July 2021

Thomas Nally, Jane L. Ireland, Leah Greenwood, Carol A. Ireland and Philip Birch

This study aims to explore the impact of inclusion of victim empathy-based content in offender treatment.

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to explore the impact of inclusion of victim empathy-based content in offender treatment.

Design/methodology/approach

This study first presents a systematic review of 20 papers before proceeding to consider qualitative interviews with therapists (n = 7) and forensic patients (n = 5), who had completed a long-term violence therapy (Life Minus Violence – Enhanced, LMV-E©). The research explored perceptions of forensic patients and treatment facilitators when completing victim empathy work and explored any negative effects this may have.

Findings

Findings from the systematic review indicated five themes: interventions incorporating victim empathy can be effective; there are positive risk-understanding consequences from completing victim empathy work; offenders perceive victim empathy positively; the emotional impact of victim empathy work on offenders’ is poorly explored; and completing victim empathy in treatment groups receives mixed evaluations from offenders. The systematic review was used to inform the interview themes for the resulting qualitative study with facilitators and forensic patients. This study indicated six themes: victim empathy content facilitates change; victim empathy content can be difficult for patients; victim empathy content can lead to an emotional response; victim empathy content can be beneficial, with the process important; victim empathy content can help understand risk, and patients’ experience of treatment begins before attending sessions.

Practical implications

The potential impact of victim empathy content needs to be evaluated before sessions are completed, accounting for client expectations and treatment readiness. This should include ensuring that appropriate support is in place. Any support provided to patients should be regularly reviewed.

Originality/value

The study represents the first to apply detailed analysis to this topic area and with a complex group.

Details

The Journal of Forensic Practice, vol. 23 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2050-8794

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Article
Publication date: 9 June 2021

Mariane Lemos Lourenço, Mara Rosalia Ribeiro Silva and Rafael Santana Galvão Oliveira

The purpose of this paper is to analyze the relationship between empathy and social responsibility (SR) practices in a university organization in Brazil during the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to analyze the relationship between empathy and social responsibility (SR) practices in a university organization in Brazil during the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020.

Design/methodology/approach

The research was qualitative, using case study methodology. The case study was about the Brazilian organization Ânima Educação, which is the greatest among the five largest publicly traded education companies in Brazil. Secondary data collection and content analysis was carried out.

Findings

As emotional response toward the problems caused by the pandemic, the company's leadership adopted an empathic behavior, allowing traces of its empathic culture to emerge. Empathy was expressed through the implementation of SR practices aimed at workers (policy of not firing in the first two months of the pandemic), at students (provision of technological apparatus, online classes, physical/psychological assistance and negotiation of late fees) and at the society (assistance to the elderly).

Originality/value

It was concluded that empathy can be taken as the emotional motivator for companies to engage in SR practices, especially in extreme circumstances in society, as the economic and health challenges that the world is experiencing with the COVID-19 pandemic nowadays. SR practices, in turn, can foster even more empathy in organizations, mobilizing leaders and their respective groups in the creation and implementation of new practices, thus demonstrating that the relationship between empathy and SR practices is a “two-way street.”

Details

Social Responsibility Journal, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1747-1117

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Book part
Publication date: 26 August 2019

Ronald H. Humphrey, Janet B. Kellett, Randall G. Sleeth, Chao Miao and Shanshan Qian

To examine empathy as a trait that influences leadership behaviors, which, in turn, influence group decision-making.

Abstract

Purpose

To examine empathy as a trait that influences leadership behaviors, which, in turn, influence group decision-making.

Design/Methodology/Approach

This study uses an assessment center design to maximize internal validity.

Findings

The structural equation model shows that empathy strongly relates to both relationship leadership and task leadership, while cognitive ability only relates to task leadership. Both relationship leadership and task leadership exert influence over group task choice and group decisions. Thus, empathy has its major effects through influencing leader behaviors, which, in turn, have distal impacts on outcomes such as influence over decisions.

Research Limitations/Implications

The study results should be further tested in field settings.

Practical Implications

The findings suggest that organizations should recruit and promote leaders high in empathy.

Originality/Value

This is the first study to test whether leader behaviors mediate the effects of leader empathy on group decision-making.

Details

Emotions and Leadership
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-83867-202-7

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Book part
Publication date: 7 June 2016

Erin M. Richard, Christa P. Bupp and Raad G. Alzaidalsharief

We examine whether supervisor support and empathy moderate the relationship between customer injustice and employee display rule deviance through a reduction in employee anger.

Abstract

Purpose

We examine whether supervisor support and empathy moderate the relationship between customer injustice and employee display rule deviance through a reduction in employee anger.

Methodology

Working adults (N = 214) completed an online survey assessing their experiences with customer injustice, feelings of anger, and the extent to which they deviated from emotional display rules over the past month. Participants also completed a measure of trait anger (a control variable), and they rated their supervisor’s general support and empathy.

Findings

Supervisor empathy (but not supervisor support) buffered the relationship between customer injustice and employee anger. In turn, reduced employee anger is related to lower display rule deviance. Country (United States vs. India) also moderated the effect of anger on display rule deviance; the relationship was stronger in India than in the United States.

Practical implications

Service industry employees typically are expected to regulate their emotional displays by displaying positive emotions and hiding negative emotions. Meeting these display rules is considered paramount to providing good service. Unfortunately, customers sometimes treat service employees in a disrespectful or unfair manner, and the resulting employee anger may cause employees to break emotional display rules. It is difficult to control customer behavior, but our results suggest that empathetic managers may help employees manage the negative emotions that result from customer mistreatment. Thus, selecting and training managers to show empathy may improve customer service by resulting in more resilient employees.

Details

Emotions and Organizational Governance
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-998-5

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Book part
Publication date: 7 June 2016

Gerald F. Burch, Andrew A. Bennett, Ronald H. Humphrey, John H. Batchelor and Athena H. Cairo

Empathy, or the process of feeling or knowing how another feels, is a critical component of social interactions, and may be of particular importance to organizational…

Abstract

Purpose

Empathy, or the process of feeling or knowing how another feels, is a critical component of social interactions, and may be of particular importance to organizational functioning. This chapter addresses a literature gap on empathy in organizational contexts by providing a review of empathy research in a management setting.

Methodology/approach

We integrate the developing field of empathy research and provide a conceptual framework built on Ashkanasy’s (2003) five levels of analysis in emotions research, emphasizing within-person, between-person, interpersonal, group-level, and organization-level processes.

Findings

Our model addresses the complaint that empathy definitions are not consistent by illustrating how the level of analysis alters the view of empathy’s role in organizations.

Research implications

This multi-level model of empathy provides a framework to identify gaps in the empathy literature and make recommendations for future research.

Practical implications

This new model of empathy will help practitioners use and understand empathy by providing a structure of how empathy is manifested in organizational settings.

Originality/value

The field of empathy research has been limited by inconsistent definitions and a lack of a model that outlines how empathy is used in organizations. This multi-level model of empathy provides the necessary framework for researchers and practitioners to advance the research and practice of empathy in organizations.

Details

Emotions and Organizational Governance
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78560-998-5

Keywords

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