Management Review ›› 2021, Vol. 33 ›› Issue (8): 234-244.

• Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management • Previous Articles     Next Articles

The Relationship between Newcomers' I-deals and Coworkers' Ostracism and Self-improvement: The Mediating Role of Envy and the Moderating Role of Organizational Overall Justice

Wang Linlin1, Long Lirong2, Zhang Yong3   

  1. 1. School of Mechanical Engineering, Hubei University of Technology, Wuhan 430068;
    2. School of Management, Huazhong University of Science and Technology, Wuhan 430074;
    3. School of Economics and Business Administration, Chongqing University, Chongqing 400044
  • Received:2018-06-06 Online:2021-08-28 Published:2021-09-04

Abstract: With the increasing talents competition in today's knowledge economy, idiosyncratic deals have received considerable attention as a mean of HRM practices. I-deals provide special employment arrangements which are tailored to demands of valued employees. A few of empirical studies have demonstrated that i-deals are positively related to the attitudes and behaviors of the recipients. Despite the increasing interests in i-deals, few studies to date have studied i-deals from the third part (i.e., coworkers) perspective. In this study, we propose a process model based on social comparison theory to explore how and when newcomers' i-deals affect coworkers' emotion and behaviors. Specifically, we first investigate the effects of newcomers' i-deals on coworkers' envy. Second, we examine the mediating roles of envy in the relationships between newcomers' i-deals and self-improvement and ostracism. Finally, we test the moderating effects of organizational overall justice on the mediation relationships between newcomers' i-deals and coworkers' output via envy.
Empirical data is collected from 204 employees in 25 different enterprises. The results show that the relationship between newcomers' i-deals and coworkers' envy is significant, and envy is positively related to coworkers' self-improvement and ostracism. The mediation analyses reveal that envy mediates the positive relationship between newcomers' i-deals and self-improvement and ostracism. Finally, the moderated mediation analyses show that organizational overall justice moderates the indirect relationship between newcomers' i-deals and self-improvement and ostracism, such that when organizational overall justice is high, the indirect effect of newcomers' i-deals on self-improvement via envy is more positive, whereas the indirect effect of newcomers' i-deals on ostracism via envy is less positive.
Our findings contribute to the i-deals literature in three ways. First, drawing from the third part perspective,we concern with the perception and reaction of coworkers to newcomers' i-deals. Second, we reveal the mechanism of why newcomers' i-deals facilitates differential reactions of coworkers by identifying envy as an important mediator in linking newcomers' i-deals with both self-improvement and ostracism. Finally, our study contributes to the i-deals literature by demonstrating organizational overall justice as a crucial boundary condition under which envy may or may not stimulate varying degrees of self-improvement and ostracism.

Key words: i-deals, envy, organizational overall justice, ostracism, self-improvement