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The Motivating role of envy: a forgotten factor in management theory

Author: Kets de Vries, Manfred F. R. INSEAD Area: Organisational BehaviourIn: Administration and Society, vol. 24, no.1, May 1992 Language: EnglishDescription: p. 41-60.Type of document: INSEAD ArticleNote: Please ask the Library for this articleAbstract: A review of management textbooks reveals that the construct of envy, which plays a major role as motivator, is widely ignored. In this article, the meaning, origin and function of envy are explored. Particular attention is paid to ways of dealing with envy - patterns of action that combine envy avoidance and envy-inducing components in an intricate way. Among the strategies discussed are idealization, denial, reaction formation, rationalization, withdrawal, devaluation, the drive to excel, and reparation. The article demonstrates how envy becomes a significant motivator when seen in the context of organizational life
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A review of management textbooks reveals that the construct of envy, which plays a major role as motivator, is widely ignored. In this article, the meaning, origin and function of envy are explored. Particular attention is paid to ways of dealing with envy - patterns of action that combine envy avoidance and envy-inducing components in an intricate way. Among the strategies discussed are idealization, denial, reaction formation, rationalization, withdrawal, devaluation, the drive to excel, and reparation. The article demonstrates how envy becomes a significant motivator when seen in the context of organizational life

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