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Effect of Organizational Competitive Climate on Organizational Prosocial Behavior: Workplace Envy as a Mediator

Authors: Armaghan Eslami, Nasrin Arshadi


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: Competitive climate, mediator, prosocial behavior, workplace envy.

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