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Contribution Details

Type Journal Article
Scope Discipline-based scholarship
Title Schadenfreude: A counter-normative observer response to workplace mistreatment
Organization Unit
  • Xinxin Li
  • Daniel McAllister
  • Remus Ilies
  • Jamie Lee Gloor
Item Subtype Further Contribution (e.g. review article, editorial)
Refereed Yes
Status Published in final form
  • English
Journal Title Academy of Management Review
Publisher Academy of Management
Geographical Reach international
ISSN 0363-7425
Volume 44
Number 2
Page Range 360 - 376
Date 2019
Abstract Text Although almost all employees have heard of or witnessed their colleagues being mistreated, we have an incomplete understanding of how employees perceive and respond to such events. Whereas past research has established that observer emotions can be congruent with victim emotions, we examine observer schadenfreude, an incongruent emotion that is also prevalent in organizations. Based on appraisal theories of emotion, we propose a process model of schadenfreude emergence and development: initial schadenfreude occurs when observers appraise mistreatment incidents as relevant and conducive to their goals; this initial feeling evolves into either righteous or ambivalent schadenfreude, depending on observers' secondary appraisals of victim deservingness. We also address the implications of schadenfreude for observer behavior and the moderating effects of observers' moral foundations and organizational civility climates. Our model extends current knowledge about observer reactions and helps us understand the persistence and pervasiveness of workplace mistreatment.
Related URLs
Digital Object Identifier 10.5465/amr.2016.0134
Other Identification Number merlin-id:15426
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