Prior research has found that the behaviors of entitled employees can often affect other employees around them, resulting in outcomes such as lower job satisfaction and higher job tension, but no research has examined how these outcomes occur. Entitlement has been surmised to function as a stressor, but there is no concrete evidence for this and any explanation for the link between experiencing others' entitlement and experiencing strain outcomes have been theoretical. Thus, it is important to understand precisely how entitlement is perceived by coworkers. The primary goal of this study was to examine proximal outcomes of entitlement behavior. Additionally, this study introduced new variables that may influence the way people perceive entitlement: the perceiver's own entitlement level and the impact of the entitled behavior. The inclusion of these variables allows for demonstrating that reactions to entitlement can differ depending on the characteristics of the people experiencing it and on the way that it impacts them. To address these issues, this study used an experiment to examine how people react to their coworkers' entitlement. Participants were randomly assigned into different impact conditions (victim, unaffected, beneficiary, or control) and outcomes were assessed. Observing entitlement generated negative affect, anticipated future conflict with the perpetrator, and dislike for the perpetrator. There were also differences in the way people reacted to entitled behavior depending on the impact of the behavior. Observers' own entitlement also had a minimal impact on these reactions. Directions for future research on perceptions of entitlement are discussed.
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Master of Science (M.S.)
College of Sciences
Industrial and Organizational Psychology
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Campus-only Access)
Cui, Colleen, "How Do You Feel About your Entitled Coworker? Effects of Perceiver's Entitlement and Impact Type on Reactions to Workplace Entitlement" (2021). Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2020-. 669.
Restricted to the UCF community until August 2026; it will then be open access.