Theses and Dissertations - UTB/UTPA

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



First Advisor

Dr. Linda Matthews

Second Advisor

Dr. John Sargent

Third Advisor

Dr. Jennifer Welbourne


Envy is deep-rooted within human nature and considered as a socially undesirable emotion. According to social science scholars, competitive situations are breeding grounds for various feelings of ill-will. Researchers have demonstrated that an organization's systems and structure permit envy to exist and thrive even in the workplace. Within a workplace setting, various job-related scenarios such as positions held, promotions, projects assigned, job design, pay increases, and performance recognition can lead to envious feelings, which in turn, can have negative consequences. There are some organizations in which employees engage in close interactions on a regular basis and share a high degree of work- related interdependence. These situations offer frequent opportunities for comparisons with colleagues. Conceptual as well as empirical research on the topic of workplace envy has been very limited till date. As such, our study is an attempt to advance the understanding of the vital role envy may play in the organizational context. In this process, our study strives to extend the current theories on affective or emotional experiences by providing integrated model of workplace envy. Specifically, we examine the impact of leader member exchange (LMX) on envy. Also, the intriguing role of perceived co-worker similarity and equity sensitivity in the above relationship is explored. Furthermore, we investigate the relationship of envy with employees’ knowledge sharing, uncivil behaviors, and intention to quit. Building on the Affective events theory, we argue that employees, who do not have a good relationship with their leaders (low LMX), will feel envious; and will be likely to restrict their knowledge sharing and engage in uncivil behaviors towards, or even, intend to quit the organization. Hierarchical regression analysis was used to test the hypotheses on a sample of 204 software engineers working in different multinational companies. The results provide support to most of the suggested hypotheses. Our study contributes to the growing body of literature on negative emotions in the workplace. In addition, implications of this study call for the need to manage employee emotions in the workplace. Finally, future research avenues based on our results are discussed.


Copyright 2011 Ankur Nandedkar. All Rights Reserved.

Granting Institution

University of Texas-Pan American