Hot shots and cool reception? An expanded view of social consequences for high performers

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Aichia Chuang, Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
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Abstract: While high performers contribute substantially to their workgroups and organizations, research has indicated that they incur social costs from peers. Drawing from theories of social comparison and conservation of resources, we advance a rational perspective to explain why high performers draw both intentional positive and negative reactions from peers and consider how cooperative work contexts moderate these effects. A multisource field study of 936 relationships among 350 stylists within 105 salons offered support for our model and an experiment with 204 management students constructively replicated our findings and ruled out alternative explanations. Results indicated that peers offered more support and also perpetrated more undermining to high performers. Paradoxical cognitive processes partly explain these behaviors, and cooperative contexts proved socially disadvantageous for high performers. Findings offer a more comprehensive view of the social consequences of high performance and highlight how peer behaviors toward high performers may be calculated and strategic rather than simply reactionary.

Additional Information

Journal of Applied Psychology, 102, 845-866
Language: English
Date: 2017
high performers, social support, social undermining, resource threat, strategic mistreatment

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