ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2017, Vol. 25 ›› Issue (2): 342-357.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2017.00342

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Antecedents of malicious and benign envy and mechanisms for their influences

LIU Dege1; LI Wendong2; CHEN Wenjing3   

  1. (1 School of Business Administration, Guangzhou University, Guangzhou 510006, China) (2 Department of Management, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong, China) (3 School of Economics and Management, Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications, Beijing 100876, China)
  • Received:2016-02-17 Online:2017-02-15 Published:2017-02-15
  • Contact: LIU Dege, E-mail:


Although the majority of previous research has focused on the negative impacts of envy, there is still limited research attention devoted to the potential positive influences of envy. After clarifying the definition of envy, this article summarizes potential antecedents of malicious and benign envy related to individual, leader, team and organizational variables, and the role of deservingness and perceived control as moderators involved in the relationship between those antecedents and malicious and benign envy. Furthermore, it proposes different mechanisms between these two types of envy and performance as well as destructive behaviors. Future research should develop measures of malicious and benign envy, and also examine the relationships between envy and pro-social behavior, feeling envied, the impact of core self-evaluations, cultural specific variables such as Mianzi and Zhongyong, and social network on the way in which envy is experienced and in the process how envy influences outcomes.

Key words: envy, benign envy, malicious envy, social comparison