The experience of being envied at work: How being envied shapes employee feelings and motivation

Ki Young Lee, Michelle K. Duffy, Kristin L. Scott, Michaéla C. Schippers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations


We develop and test a theoretical framework delineating the dual affective and motivational experiences arising from perceptions of being envied in the workplace. We theorize that being envied can be pleasantly or unpleasantly experienced with opposite downstream effects on motivation and job performance. We test our model in two field studies using a sample of government employees (Study 1) and a sample of employees in the financial industry (Study 2). Our results indicate that being envied can elicit unpleasant mood and anxiety that influence work engagement and job performance in negative ways. In addition, we found that positive emotional experiences from being envied bolster work engagement and performance through positive mood but not pride. Implications of our findings are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)181-200
Number of pages20
JournalPersonnel Psychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 2018

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Study 1 was supported by the dean'ssmall research grant from Carlson School of Management. Study 2 and preliminary data collection for Study 1 were supported by the small grant from Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology Foundation.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.


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