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Envy at Work and in Organizations$
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Richard H. Smith, Ugo Merlone, and Michelle K. Duffy

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780190228057

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: August 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190228057.001.0001

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The Benefits and Threats from Being Envied in Organizations

The Benefits and Threats from Being Envied in Organizations

Chapter:
(p.455) 19 The Benefits and Threats from Being Envied in Organizations
Source:
Envy at Work and in Organizations
Author(s):

W. Gerrod Parrott

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190228057.003.0019

In organizations, envy has complex social and emotional consequences for persons who are the targets of envy. This chapter presents theoretical frameworks that characterize those consequences and reviews recent research. From the perspective of the envied person, envy can be beneficial by confirming others’ recognition of one’s accomplishments and status, and can increase self-confidence, self-affirmation, and pride. But being the target of envy can have costs as well. It can disrupt relationships and create unhappiness in others that the envied person cares about. It can also lead to hostility and uncooperative behavior. The targets of envy therefore often adopt strategies to avoid or reduce envy in others. Being the target of envy can be characterized as an ambivalent experience that presents a mix of positive and negative emotions.

Keywords:   Envy, target of envy, fear of envy, malicious envy, benign envy

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