International Journal of Stress Management

, Volume 7, Issue 3, pp 161–179 | Cite as

Negative Emotion in the Workplace: Employee Jealousy and Envy

  • Robert P. Vecchio


Nine hypotheses were developed from the emerging literature on negative emotion in the workplace. In order to test these hypotheses, the responses of 167 employed master's students to measures of individual differences (self-esteem and Machiavellianism), work unit attributes (autonomy, competitive reward, and supervisory considerateness) and personal response variables (sense of control, organization-based self-esteem, and propensity to quit) were analyzed with bivariate and hierarchical regression analyses. Results of these analyses were generally supportive of the predicted relationships. Findings are interpreted as indicating the utility of the constructs of employee jealousy and envy for understanding individual experiences of interpersonal stress.

worksite stress stress management jealousy envy 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Adler, N., & Matthews, K. (1994). Health psychology: Why do some people get sick and some stay well? Annual Review of Psychology, 45, 229-259.Google Scholar
  2. Ambrose, M. L., Harland, L. K., & Kulik, C. T. (1991). Influence of social comparisons on perceptions of organizational fairness, Journal of Applied Psychology, 76, 239-246.Google Scholar
  3. Baron, R. A., & Neuman, J. H. (1996). Workplace violence and workplace aggression: Evidence on their relative frequency and potential causes. Aggressive Behavior, 22, 161-173.Google Scholar
  4. Bass, B. M. (1990). Bass and Stogdill's handbook of leadership, 3rd ed. New York: Free Press.Google Scholar
  5. Bentler, P. M. (1990). Comparative fit indices in structural models, Psychological Bulletin, 107, 238-246.Google Scholar
  6. Bentler, P. M., & Chou, C. (1987). Practical issues in structural modeling. Sociological Methods and Research, 16, 78-117.Google Scholar
  7. Blascovich, J., & Tomaka, J. (1991). Measures of self-esteem. In J. P. Robinson & L. S. Wrightsman (Eds.), Measures of personality and social psychological attitudes. (pp. 115-160). San Diego: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  8. Bollen, K. (1989). Structural equations with latent variables. New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  9. Brooke, P. P., Russell, D. W., & Price, J. L. (1988). Discriminant validation of measures of job satisfaction, job involvement, and organizational commitment, Journal of Applied Psychology, 73, 139-145.Google Scholar
  10. Cattell, R. B. (1966). The scree test for the number of factors. Multivariate Behavioral Research, 1, 245-276.Google Scholar
  11. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (1993). Preventing homicide in the workplace. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. September, Publication No. 93-109.Google Scholar
  12. Christie, R., & Geis, F. (1976). Studies in Machiavellianism. New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  13. Cohen, J., & Cohen, P. (1983). Applied multiple regression/correlation analysis for the behavioral sciences. Hillsdale, NJ: Erlbaum.Google Scholar
  14. Cooper, C. L., & Cartwright, S. (1997). An intervention strategy for workplace stress. Journal of Psychosomatic Research, 43, 7-16.Google Scholar
  15. Coyne, J. C., & Downey, G. (1991). Social factors and psychopathology: Stress, social support, and coping processes. Annual Review of Psychology, 42, 401-425.Google Scholar
  16. Crandall, R., & Perrewé, P. L. (1995). Occupational stress: A handbook. Washington, DC: Taylor and Francis.Google Scholar
  17. Delgado, A. R., & Bond, R. A. (1993). Attenuating the attribution of responsibility: The lay perception of jealousy as a motive for wife battery. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 23, 1337-1356.Google Scholar
  18. Diener, E., & Emmons, R. A. (1985). The independence of positive and negative affect. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 47, 1105-1117.Google Scholar
  19. Dillman, D. A. (1978). Mail and telephone surveys: The total design method. New York: J. Wiley & Sons.Google Scholar
  20. Edwards, J. R. (1992). A cybernetic theory of stress, coping, and well-being in organizations. Academy of Management Review, 17, 238-274.Google Scholar
  21. Elliott, R. H., & Jarrett, D. T. (1994). Violence in the workplace: The role of human resources management, Public Personnel Management, 23, 287-299.Google Scholar
  22. Ferris, G. R., Judge, T. A., Rowland, K. M., & Fitzgibbons, D. E. (1994). Subordinate influence and the performance evaluation process: Test of a model. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 57, 1-35.Google Scholar
  23. Vecchio Fowler, F. J. (1993). Survey research methods, 2nd ed. Newbury Park, CA: Sage Publications.Google Scholar
  24. Harris, C. R., & Christenfeld, N. (1996). Gender, jealousy, and reason. Psychological Science, 7, 364-366.Google Scholar
  25. Havlovic, S. J., & Keenan, J. P. (1995). Coping with work stress: The influence of individual differences. In R. Crandall & P. L. Perrewe´ (Eds.), Occupational stress: A handbook. (pp. 179-192). Washington, DC: Taylor and Francis.Google Scholar
  26. Hinkin, T. R. (1998). A brief tutorial in the development of measures for use in survey questionnaires. Organizational Research Methods, 1, 104-121.Google Scholar
  27. Hochschild, A. R. (1979). Emotion work: Feeling rules and social structure. American Journal of Sociology, 85, 551-575.Google Scholar
  28. Hupka, R. B., & Bachelor, B. (1979). Validation of a scale to measure romantic jealousy. Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Western Psychological Association, San Diego, CA.Google Scholar
  29. Ivancevich, J. M., Matteson, M. T., Freedman, S. M., & Phillips, J. S. (1990). Work stress management interventions. American Psychologist, 45, 252-261.Google Scholar
  30. Jöreskog, K. G. & Sörbom, D. (1993). LISREL 8: Structural equation modeling with the SIMPLIS command language. Chicago, IL: Scientific Software International.Google Scholar
  31. Kahn, R. L., & Byosiere, P. (1992). Stress in organizations. In M. Dunnette & L. Hough (Eds.), Handbook of industrial and organizational psychology (pp. 571-650). Palo Alto, CA: Consulting Psychologists Press.Google Scholar
  32. Kinicki, A. J., McKee, F. M., & Wade, K. J. (1996). Annual review, 1991-1995-Occupational health. Journal of Vocational Behavior, 49, 190-220.Google Scholar
  33. Latack, J. C., & Havlovic, S. J. (1992). Coping with job stress: A conceptual evaluation framework for coping measures. Journal of Organizational Behavior, 13, 479-508.Google Scholar
  34. Lazarus, R. S. (1994). Psychological stress in the workplace. In R. Crandall & P. L. Perrewé (Eds.), Occupational stress: A handbook (pp. 3-14). Washington, DC: Taylor & Francis.Google Scholar
  35. Lazarus, R. S., & Folkman, S. (1984). Stress, appraisal, and coping. New York: Springer.Google Scholar
  36. Lindquist, T. L., & Cooper, C. L. (1999). Using lifestyle and coping to reduce job stress and improve health in 'at risk' office workers. Stress Medicine, 15, 143-152.Google Scholar
  37. Locke, E. A., & Taylor, M. S. (1990). Stress and the meaning of work. In A. Brief & W. Nord (Eds.), Meanings of occupational work (pp. 135-170). Lexington MA: Lexington Books.Google Scholar
  38. Locke, E. A., McClear, K, & Knight, D. (1996). Self-esteem and work. International Review of Industrial and Organizational Psychology, 11, 1-32.Google Scholar
  39. Lusk, S. L. (1992). Violence in the workplace. Journal of the American Association of Occupational Health Nurses, 40, 212-223.Google Scholar
  40. Mathes, E. W. (1992). Jealousy: The psychological data. New York: University Press of America.Google Scholar
  41. Matteson, M. T., & Ivancevich, J. M. (1987). Controlling work stress. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.Google Scholar
  42. Mumford, M. D. (1983). Social comparison theory and the evaluation of peer evaluations: A review and some applied implications, Personnel Psychology, 36, 867-881.Google Scholar
  43. Myers, D. G., & Diener, E. (1995). Who is happy? Psychological Science, 6, 10-19.Google Scholar
  44. National Victim Center (1994). Workplace violence, Vol. 1, No. 67. Fort Worth, TX.Google Scholar
  45. Neuman, J. H., & Baron, R. A. (1998). Workplace violence and workplace aggression: Evidence concerning specific forms, potential causes, and preferred targets. Journal of Management, 24, 391-419.Google Scholar
  46. Nunnally, J. (1978). Psychometric theory. New York: McGraw Hill.Google Scholar
  47. O'Boyle, T. F. (1992). Disgruntled workers intent on revenge increasingly harm colleagues and bosses. Wall Street Journal, September 15, B1 and B10.Google Scholar
  48. Organ, D. W., & Konovsky, M. (1989). Cognitive versus affective determinants of organizational citizenship behavior. Journal of Applied Psychology, 74, 157-164.Google Scholar
  49. Parrott, W. G. (1991). The emotional experiences of envy and jealousy. In P. Salovey (Ed.), The psychology of jealousy and envy (pp. 3-30). New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  50. Parrott, W. G., & Smith, R. H. (1993). Distinguishing the experiences of envy and jealousy. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 64, 906-920.Google Scholar
  51. Pearlin, L., Lieberman, M., Menaghan, E., & Mullan, J. (1981). The stress process. Journal of Health and Social Behavior, 22, 337-356.Google Scholar
  52. Pedhauzer, E. J. (1982). Multiple regression in behavioral research: Explanation and prediction. New York: CBS College Publishing.Google Scholar
  53. Pierce, J. L., Gardner, D. A., Cummings, L. L., & Dunham, R. B. (1989). Organization-based selfesteem: Construct definition measurement and validation, Academy of Management Journal, 32, 622-648.Google Scholar
  54. Rafaeli, A., & Sutton, R. J. (1989). The expression of emotion in organizational life. In L. Cummings & B. M. Staw (Eds.), Research in Organizational Behavior, 11 (1-42). Greenwich, CT: JAI Press.Google Scholar
  55. Rafaeli, A., & Sutton, R. J. (1991). Emotional contrast strategies as means of social influence: Lessons from bill collectors and interrogators. Academy of Management Journal, 34, 749-775.Google Scholar
  56. Regdon, J. E. (1994). Companies see more workplace violence. Wall Street Journal, April 12, B1 and B6.Google Scholar
  57. Robinson, S. L., & Bennett, R. J. (1995). A typology of deviant workplace behaviors: A multidimensional scaling study. Academy of Management Journal, 38, 555-572.Google Scholar
  58. Rosenberg, M. (1965). Society and the adolescent self-image. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.Google Scholar
  59. Rosenberg, M. (1979). Conceiving the self. New York: Basic Books.Google Scholar
  60. Russell, J. A. (1991). Culture and the categorization of emotions. Psychological Bulletin, 110, 426-450.Google Scholar
  61. Salovey, P. (1991). The psychology of jealousy and envy. New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  62. Selye, H. (1976). The stress of life. New York: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
  63. Sheppard, B. H., Lewicki, R. J., & Minton, J. W. (1992). Organizational justice: The search for fairness in the workplace. New York: Lexington Books.Google Scholar
  64. Smith, R. H., Kim, S. H., & Parrott, W. F. (1988). Envy and jealousy: Semantic problems and experimental distractions. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 14, 401-409.Google Scholar
  65. Staw, B. M., Sutton, R. I., & Pelled, L. H. (1994). Employee positive emotion and favorable outcomes at the workplace, Organization Science, 5, 51-71.Google Scholar
  66. Stearns, P. N. (1989). Jealousy: The evolution of an emotion in American history. New York: New York University Press.Google Scholar
  67. Stogdill, R., & Coons, A. (eds.) (1957). Leader behavior: Its description and measurement (Research Monograph No. 88). Columbus: Ohio State University, Bureau of Business Research.Google Scholar
  68. Stuart, P. (1992). Murder on the job, Personnel Journal, 71, 72-84.Google Scholar
  69. Tetlock. P. E., & Manstead, A. S. R. (1985). Impression management versus intrapsychic exploration in social psychology: A useful dichotomy, Psychological Review, 92, 59-77.Google Scholar
  70. Van Maanen, J., & Kunda, G. (1989). Real feelings: Emotional expression and organizational culture. In B. Staw & L. Cummings (Eds.), Research in Organizational Behavior, 11 (pp. 43-103). Greenwich, CT: JAI Press.Google Scholar
  71. Vecchio, R. P. (1995). It's not easy being green: Jealousy and envy in the workplace. In G. R. Ferris (Ed.), Research in Personnel and Human Resources Management, 13 (pp. 201-244). Greenwich, CT: JAI Press.Google Scholar
  72. Vecchio, R. P. (1999). Jealousy and envy among health care professionals. In P. M. LeBlance, M. Peters, A. Büssing, W. Schaufeli (eds.), Organizational Psychology and Health Care (pp. 121-132). Munich: Rainer-Hampp-Verlag.Google Scholar
  73. White, G. L., & Mullen, P. E. (1989). Jealousy: Theory, research, and clinical strategies. New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  74. Williams, L. J., & Hazer, J. T. (1986). Antecedents and consequences of satisfaction and commitment in turnover models: A reanalysis using latent variable structural equation methods, Journal of Applied Psychology, 71, 219-231.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press, Inc. 2000

Authors and Affiliations

  • Robert P. Vecchio

There are no affiliations available

Personalised recommendations