An examination of envy and jealousy in nursing academia
Michelle Cleary Professor of mental health nursing, School of Health Sciences, University of Tasmania, Sydney, Australia
Garry Walter Professor of psychiatry, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Canada; Centre for Values, Ethics and the Law in Medicine (VELiM) and Sydney Medical School, University of Sydney, Australia
Elizabeth Halcomb Professor of primary health care nursing, University of Wollongong, NSW, Australia
Violeta Lopez Professor, Alice Lee Centre for Nursing Studies, Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore, Singapore
Aim To discuss envy and jealousy and how their positive and negative aspects among nurse academics affect the workplace.
Background In nursing academia, jealousy and envy are common emotions, engendered by demands for high productivity, intense competition for limited resources, preferences for particular assignments and opportunities for promotions. When these feelings are moderate and part of everyday rivalry, competition and ambition benefit the organisation. However, jealousy and envy can have serious consequences including damaged relationships and communication, and the undermining of colleagues’ performance.
Discussion Strategies are recommended to provide opportunities for self-reflection and consideration of how the workplace affects nursing academics’ wellbeing and professional performance.
Conclusion Jealousy and envy can be damaging emotions in the workplace. The embittered, hostile person can undermine and damage relationships, disrupt teams and communication, and undermine organisational performance. Discussing the positive and negative effects of envy and jealousy provides an opportunity for nursing academics to self-reflect and to consider others and their own personal and professional performance.
Implications for practice Understanding how jealousy and envy impact on the work environment, workplace relationships and individual/team performance is important especially for early career and seasoned nursing academics alike.
23, 6, 14-19.
This article has been subject to double-blind review and has been checked using antiplagiarism software
Conflict of interest
Received: 05 June 2015
Accepted: 10 November 2015
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