In this study, I develop and test a model that explains when and why workplace envy can enhance task performance and organizational citizenship behaviors. Drawing on counterfactual theory, I propose that workplace envy plays a functional role: employees who envy coworkers learn from their envied targets via systematic information processing, especially when the enviers have high core self-evaluations (CSE) or when the envied targets provide help to enviers. To further understand the social influence of envy in triggering interpersonal dynamic processes, I delineate the processes and conditions that will prompt targets of envy to help enviers. I propose that envied targets are likely to perceive envy and will try to appease enviers by extending help, especially when enviers have central positions in friendship networks and thus can potentially undermine the target's workplace social relationships. I collect data from Korean bank tellers and insurance sales agents and use a round robin design showing that the envy-learning relationship is contingent on CSE and received help from the target and that learning from coworkers contributes to job performance via work engagement. In addition, targets are likely to perceive the envy but are not motivated to extend help even when the envier has high friendship network centrality. I discuss the implications and limitations of the study.
University of Minnesota Ph.D. dissertation. June 2014. Major: Business Administration. Advisor: Michelle Duffy. 1 computer file (PDF); vii, 104 pages.
Lee, Ki Yeong.
When and How Does Workplace Envy Promote Job Performance? A Study on the Conditions and Mechanisms for the Functional Role of Envy in Workplace Behavior.
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