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Co-worker reactions to i-deals through the lens of social comparison: The role of fairness and emotions

Abstract : The individualization of working conditions has culminated in the form of “i-deals,” which are uniquely negotiated arrangements between employees (i-dealers) and their supervisor. Implementing such idiosyncratic deals, however, only makes sense when their benefits outweigh their costs. To assess their merit, co-worker reactions should be considered. Do i-deals trigger fairness perceptions and emotions among co-workers? And how do these factors influence co-workers’ behaviors? To date, the cognitive and emotional mechanisms of co-workers’ behavioral reactions have been underdeveloped. In this article, we build on social comparison theory to develop a process model. We argue that social comparison is not a given, as co-workers might not necessarily compare themselves with the i-dealer. Yet, if they engage in comparison, this can be upward when they feel disadvantaged or, alternatively, downward. Such comparisons include a unique set of emotions and fairness perceptions, which together influence co-workers’ behaviors positively or negatively. Moreover, we argue that the boundary conditions of the relational context within which i-deals unfold play an important role. Our model offers theoretical insights into co-worker reactions to i-deals as well as a future research agenda. The model also aids practitioners in understanding co-workers’ reactions and in guiding them to assure positive reactions.
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https://hal.archives-ouvertes.fr/hal-02511332
Contributor : Isabelle Celet <>
Submitted on : Wednesday, March 18, 2020 - 4:45:53 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, March 19, 2020 - 1:33:30 AM

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Elise Marescaux, Sophie de Winne, Yasin Rofcanin. Co-worker reactions to i-deals through the lens of social comparison: The role of fairness and emotions. Human Relations, SAGE Publications, 2019, pp.001872671988410. ⟨10.1177/0018726719884103⟩. ⟨hal-02511332⟩

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