The Antidote to Envy? Socialization’s Role in Alleviating the Influence of Envy in Headquarters-subunit Alignment

Nina Zobel, Phillip Christopher Nell, Björn Ambos, Sven Kunisch

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperResearchpeer-review


This study explores the role of social comparison processes (SCPs) in organizations. Unlike most SCPs studies, we argue that SCPs do not only take place on the individual, but also on the organizational unit level. Given the importance of procedural justice in headquarters-subunit alignment, we posit that organizational subunits engage in SCPs with their peers on matters of procedural justice treatment by headquarters. We show that peer unit envy, as a negative consequence of SCPs between subunits, negatively influences headquarters-subunit alignment. We further explore whether socialization alleviates this effect by fostering a stronger organizational identification and rendering SCPs on the subunit level less important. Contrary to theoretical predictions, however, we reveal socialization to have an aggravating effect, thus stimulating feelings of envy among subunits.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2017
Publication statusPublished - 2017
EventStrategic Management Society 37th Annual International Conference. SMS 2017 - Houston, United States
Duration: 28 Oct 201731 Oct 2017
Conference number: 37


ConferenceStrategic Management Society 37th Annual International Conference. SMS 2017
CountryUnited States
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