The grapes are sour: An envier's attributional perspective of coworker impression management

Sundas Azeem, Mueen Aizaz Zafar, Abdul Karim Khan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


Arguing that it would serve scholars and practitioners better to view impression management (IM) from a coworker's perspective than from that of an actor's outcomes, this study demonstrates that IM by a coworker triggers a self-serving attributional process. The authors reason that denial of another's relative advantage leads the observing coworker to attribute this behavior to the actor's incompetence, consequently leading to counterproductive behavior toward them in efforts to reduce their own relative disadvantage. Data were collected at T1 and T2 from 142 service sector employees. Our results were consistent with our hypotheses. However, the moderated-mediation models for conditional effects of hostile attributional style were not supported. This study offers an integrated view of previously isolated domains of IM and attribution, suggesting future literature considers a similar perspective for more meaningful investigations.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)287-303
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Management and Organization
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 27 2023


  • attributions
  • counterproductive work behavior
  • impression management

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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