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

Elise Marescaux, Sophie De Winne, Yasin Rofcanin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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 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 paper, 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 experience positive reactions.
Original languageEnglish
JournalHuman Relations
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 5 Sep 2019

Keywords

  • I-deals
  • social comparison
  • justice
  • emotions
  • conceptual study

Cite this

Co-worker reactions to i-deals through the lens of social comparison: The role of fairness and emotions. / Marescaux, Elise; De Winne, Sophie; Rofcanin, Yasin.

In: Human Relations, 05.09.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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