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Are Satisfied Employees Less Willing to Help Others?

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Organizations can be regarded as a system of relationships between individuals. Social exchange theory (e.g. Cropanzano & Mitchell, 2005) provides a general framework to understand these relationships, arguing that positive interactions are likely to increase cooperation among individuals in organizations. While there is much information about how cooperative relationships evolve, far less is known about how these relationships affect each other. Now, taking into account that employees have multiple relationships as they are dealing with coworkers and with supervisors, the question is whether cooperation in one direction may affect cooperation in the other.  From an organizational perspective, career systems may be viewed as a means to create cooperative relationships with employees. At the same time, however, they can reduce cooperation among coworkers as they will compete for higher positions. This mechanism was found in a study among Dutch organizations: the more satisfied emp