The Dark Side of Status at Work: Perceived Status Importance, Envy, and Interpersonal Deviance

Niki A. Den Nieuwenboer, Jennifer J. Kish-Gephart, Linda K. Treviño, Ann C. Peng, Iris Reychav

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Organizations differ in the extent to which they emphasize the importance of status, yet most extant research on the role of status at work has utilized a limited view of status as merely a matter of a person's status rank. In contrast, we examine people's perceptions of the extent to which having status matters in their work context and explore the behavioral implications of such perceptions. We offer a new construct, perceived status importance, defined as employees' subjective assessment of the degree to which people within their organization are preoccupied with status. Relying on social comparison theory, we propose that higher perceived status importance triggers envy, which leads to interpersonal deviance. Across three studies, using multiwave survey and experimental designs, we find support for these relationships. We also find support for the mitigating influence of core self-evaluations on the perceived status importance - envy relationship. Implications are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)261-295
Number of pages35
JournalBusiness Ethics Quarterly
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 28 2023

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Business, Management and Accounting
  • Philosophy
  • Economics and Econometrics


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