Envy in Organizational Life

Michelle K. Duffy, Jason D. Shaw and John M. Schaubroeck

in Envy

Published in print October 2008 | ISBN: 9780195327953
Published online April 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780199301485 | DOI:
Envy in Organizational Life

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This chapter reviews recent studies examining the link between employee envy and a host of organizational outcomes at the individual and group level, from poorer leader-member exchange, lower job satisfaction, less liking for co-workers, lower organization-based self-esteem, lower group performance, higher turnover, higher absence rates, higher social loafing, to increased performance in some instances. It shows that the role of envy in organizational life is complex. Some organizations can purposely encourage envy among employees because of its apparent motivational benefits. Whether this is good or bad, all things considered, has no pat answer. The chapter also summarizes findings on the link between envy and moral disengagement in organizational settings. It appears that people who are envious can commit harmful acts in a guilt-free manner by rationalizing their harmful behavior. This allows them to avoid personal responsibility for their actions. Envy seems to be especially conducive to both harmful acts and to moral disengagement.

Keywords: employee envy; work; organizational behavior; organizational life; moral disengagement; motivation

Chapter.  11533 words. 

Subjects: Social Psychology

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