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Are your gains threat or chance for me? A social comparison perspective on idiosyncratic deals and coworkers' acceptance

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  16 November 2020

Xiaoyan Zhang
Affiliation:
School of Economics and Management, Beijing Jiaotong University, Beijing, Haidian District, China
Wenbing Wu
Affiliation:
School of Economics and Management, Beijing Jiaotong University, Beijing, Haidian District, China
Wen Wu*
Affiliation:
School of Economics and Management, Beijing Jiaotong University, Beijing, Haidian District, China
Yihua Zhang
Affiliation:
Graduate School, Pepperdine University, Los Angeles, California, USA
Yuhuan Xia
Affiliation:
School of Economics and Management, Beijing Jiaotong University, Beijing, Haidian District, China
*
Author for correspondence: Wen Wu, E-mail: 1132200433@qq.com

Abstract

Idiosyncratic deals (i-deals) refer to customized work arrangements and employment conditions employees negotiate with employers. Significant scholarly attention has been paid to understand the responses of i-deals' recipients. However, little attention has been paid to coworkers' reactions to the i-deals. This study examines how coworkers react to focal employees' i-deals. We tested our hypotheses with a sample of 253 employee–coworker pairs and found that coworkers are more likely to accept focal employees' flexibility i-deals than development i-deals. Specifically, we found that coworkers view focal employees' development i-deals as more threatening to their status than flexibility i-deals, and status threat mediates the relationship between development i-deals and coworkers' acceptance. In addition, flexibility i-deals increase coworkers' perception of obtaining future i-deals more than development i-deals, and this perception mediates the relationship between flexibility i-deals and coworkers' acceptance. Furthermore, the results show that coworkers' relative leader–member exchange moderates the above relationships.

Type
Research Article
Copyright
Copyright © Cambridge University Press and Australian and New Zealand Academy of Management 2020

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