Moving up or Pulling down? The Relationship between Benign and Malicious Envy, Task Performance and Interpersonal Counterproductive Work Behaviors: The Moderating Roles of Personal and Situational Factors
Based on the social comparison theory, the present study examines the relationships among employees’ benign and malicious envy and their task performance and interpersonal counterproductive work behaviors, and the moderating effects of goal orientations, competitive psychological climate and group size. In Study 1, we employed the experimental design to collect data from 51 employees in different industries/occupations. The results showed: (1) employees’ benign envy was positively related to their task performance, and malicious envy was positively associated with interpersonal counterproductive work behaviors (CWB), and (2) prove goal orientation strengthens the positive relationship between malicious envy and interpersonal CWB, whereas learning goal orientation did not moderate the relationship between benign envy and task performance.
In Study 2, we collected data from 188 supervisor-salespeople pairs in 42 teams from the insurance, car dealer, estate agent industries at two different time points. The results of HLM showed that: (1) employees’ benign envy was positively related their task performance, and competitive psychological climate and group size strengthen this relationship; (2) malicious envy was positively related to interpersonal CWB and competitive psychological climate strengthen this relationship. However, group size can attenuate the positive relationship between malicious envy and interpersonal CWB.