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People want to have positive views of themselves, and organize much of their lives around maintaining, enhancing, and protecting their self-esteem. By simply comparing oneself to more successful rivals, one's self-esteem may become threatened. These comparisons are particularly intense in the business world when rivals are members of the same company-such as competitors for organizational rewards and promotions-as opposed to rivals from other firms. The subtleties of internal and external rivalry are the subject of the new study "Tainted Knowledge vs. Tempting Knowledge" by Tanya Menon, an assistant professor at the University of Chicago Graduate School of Business, and Hoon-Seok Choi and Leigh Thompson of Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management.
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