Envy in Organizational Life

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

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

9 Scopus citations


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 leadermember exchange, lower job satisfaction, less liking for co-workers, lower organizationbased 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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEnvy
Subtitle of host publicationTheory and Research
PublisherOxford University Press
ISBN (Electronic)9780199301485
ISBN (Print)9780195327953
StatePublished - Apr 1 2010


  • Employee envy
  • Moral disengagement
  • Motivation
  • Organizational behavior
  • Organizational life
  • Work


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