By integrating conservation of resources and social comparison perspectives, we seek to investigate how employees’ own i-deals, independently from and jointly with their coworker’s i-deals, determine their emotional exhaustion and subsequent deviant behaviors. We conducted a field study (131 coworker dyads) focusing on task i-deals, and used Actor–Partner Interdependence Model and polynomial regression to test the hypotheses. We found that emotional exhaustion not only mediated the negative relationship between employees’ own task i-deals and deviant behaviors, but also mediated the positive relationship between upward social comparison of task i-deals (i.e., a coworker’s vs own task i-deals) and deviant behaviors. These results demonstrated the intra- and interpersonal implications of task i-deals for emotional exhaustion and subsequent deviant behaviors. The current research not only shifts the attention from a predominantly positive view on i-deals to a more balanced and nuanced view on i-deals’ implications, but also sheds light on the interpersonal nature of i-deals and the emotional exhaustion implication of upward social comparison.

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Copyright © 2018 Springer Science & Business Media. Article first published online: October 2018.

DOI: 10.1007/s10551-018-4033-9

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Full citation:

Kong, Dejun Tony, Violet T. Ho, and Sargam Garg. "Employee and Coworker Idiosyncratic Deals: Implications for Emotional Exhaustion and Deviant Behaviors." Journal of Business Ethics (2018): 1-17.