Commenced in January 2007
Frequency: Monthly
Edition: International
Paper Count: 30843
Effect of Organizational Competitive Climate on Organizational Prosocial Behavior: Workplace Envy as a Mediator

Authors: Nasrin Arshadi, Armaghan Eslami


Scarce resources are the inseparable part of organization life. This fact that only small number of the employees can have these resources such as promotion, raise, and recognition can cause competition among employees, which create competitive climate. As well as any other competition, small number wins the reward, and a great number loses, one of the possible emotional reactions to this loss is negative emotions like malicious envy. In this case, the envious person may try to harm the envied person by reducing the prosocial behavior. Prosocial behavior is a behavior that aimed to benefit others. The main propose of this action is to maintain and increase well-being and well-fare of others. Therefore, one of the easiest ways for harming envied one is to suppress prosocial behavior. Prosocial behavior has positive and important implication for organizational efficiency. Our results supported our model and suggested that competitive climate has a significant effect on increasing workplace envy and on the other hand envy has significant negative impact on prosocial behavior. Our result also indicated that envy is the mediator in the relation between competitive climate and prosocial behavior. Organizational competitive climate can cause employees respond envy with negative emotion and hostile and damaging behavior toward envied person. Competition can lead employees to look out for proof of their self-worthiness; and, furthermore, they measure their self-worth, value and respect by the superiority that they gain in competitions. As a result, loss in competitions can harm employee’s self-definition and they try to protect themselves by devaluating envied other and being ‘less friendly’ to them. Some employees may find it inappropriate to engage in the harming behavior, but they may believe there is nothing against withholding the prosocial behavior.

Keywords: mediator, competitive climate, prosocial behavior, workplace envy

Digital Object Identifier (DOI):

Procedia APA BibTeX Chicago EndNote Harvard JSON MLA RIS XML ISO 690 PDF Downloads 944


[1] Brown, S.P., W.L. Cron, and J.W. Slocum Jr, Effects of trait competitiveness and perceived intraorganizational competition on salesperson goal setting and performance. The Journal of Marketing, 1998: p. 88-98.
[2] Arnold, T., et al., Role stressors and retail performance: The role of perceived competitive climate. Journal of Retailing, 2009. 85(2): p. 194-205.
[3] Duffy, M.K. and J.D. Shaw, The Salieri syndrome consequences of envy in groups. Small group research, 2000. 31(1): p. 3-23.
[4] Parrott, W.G. and R.H. Smith, Distinguishing the experiences of envy and jealousy. Journal of personality and social psychology, 1993. 64(6): p. 906.
[5] Smith, R.H., Envy and the sense of injustice. 1991: Guilford Press New York.
[6] Gershman, B., The two sides of envy. Journal of Economic Growth, 2014. 19(4): p. 407-438.
[7] Bedeian, A.G., Workplace envy. Organizational Dynamics, 1995. 23(4): p. 49-56.
[8] Festinger, L., A theory of social comparison processes. Human relations, 1954. 7(2): p. 117-140.
[9] Malone, P.C., Communicative responses to malicious envy at work. 2006, The University of Texas at Austin.
[10] Tesser, A., Toward a self-evaluation maintenance model of social behavior. Advances in experimental social psychology, 1988. 21(181-228).
[11] Greenberg, J., Looking fair vs. being fair: Managing impressions of organizational justice. Research in organizational behavior, 1990. 12(1): p. 111-157.
[12] Vecchio, R.P., It's not easy being green: Jealousy and envy in the workplace. 1997.
[13] Batson, C.D. and A.A. Powell, Altruism and prosocial behavior. Handbook of psychology, 2003.
[14] Brief, A.P. and S.J. Motowidlo, Prosocial organizational behaviors. Academy of management Review, 1986. 11(4): p. 710-725.
[15] Tai Tze Suen, K., The consequences of envy and feeling envied. 2013, National University of Singapore. p. 91.
[16] Vecchio, R.P., Negative emotion in the workplace: Employee jealousy and envy. International Journal of Stress Management, 2000. 7(3): p. 161-179.
[17] Duffy, M.K., et al., A social context model of envy and social undermining. Academy of Management Journal, 2012. 55(3): p. 643-666.
[18] Savalei, V. and P.M. Bentler, Structural equation modeling. Corsini encyclopedia of psychology, 2010.
[19] Preacher, K.J. and A.F. Hayes, SPSS and SAS procedures for estimating indirect effects in simple mediation models. Behavior research methods, instruments, & computers, 2004. 36(4): p. 717-731.
[20] Baron, R.M. and D.A. Kenny, The moderator–mediator variable distinction in social psychological research: Conceptual, strategic, and statistical considerations. Journal of personality and social psychology, 1986. 51(6): p. 1173.
[21] Kohn, A., No contest: The case against competition. 1992: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.
[22] Takahashi, H., et al., When your gain is my pain and your pain is my gain: neural correlates of envy and schadenfreude. Science, 2009. 323(5916): p. 937-939.
[23] Cohen-Charash, Y. and J.S. Mueller, Does perceived unfairness exacerbate or mitigate interpersonal counterproductive work behaviors related to envy? Journal of Applied Psychology, 2007. 92(3): p. 666.
[24] Greenbaum, R.L., M.B. Mawritz, and G. Eissa, Bottom-line mentality as an antecedent of social undermining and the moderating roles of core self-evaluations and conscientiousness. Journal of Applied Psychology, 2012. 97(2): p. 343.
[25] Kim, S., J.W. O’Neill, and H.-M. Cho, When does an employee not help coworkers? The effect of leader–member exchange on employee envy and organizational citizenship behavior. International Journal of Hospitality Management, 2010. 29(3): p. 530-537.