It’s All Relative: A Team-Based Social Comparison Model for Self-Evaluations of Effectiveness:

Published on Apr 1, 2019in Group & Organization Management
· DOI :10.1177/1059601116682901
Jaclyn A. Margolis3
Estimated H-index: 3
(Pepperdine University),
Scott B. Dust6
Estimated H-index: 6
(Miami University)
We apply social comparison theory (SCT) to the organizational context and develop a model explicating the social comparison process that occurs within organizational teams. In doing so, we highlight how individual, team, and managerial factors influence this process. First, we discuss how task-related (e.g., functional background and experience) and demographic-related (e.g., age, gender, and race) team characteristics affect social comparison target selection (i.e., the team as a whole, a subgroup, or a specific individual) and further explain the impact of metacognitive capacities on this referent selection process. Next, we explore how team norms of collaboration versus competition affect whether employees assimilate or contrast, respectively, during social comparisons. Subsequently, we highlight how managers influence the proposed social comparison process. Finally, we discuss how social comparisons can be productive or unproductive for team members’ organization-based self-esteem (OBSE). We conclude ...
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