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People care about the way that other members of their work groups and organizations view them, i.e., they care about their social worth or social reputation at work. These concerns are the foundation of two distinct lines of scholarly research: one on status and the other on respect. Yet, although the research literatures on people's sense of their own status and respect both explore the same fundamental concerns, they differ in their conceptual origins, theorized assumptions, motivational underpinnings, judgment processes, and in the group dynamics that they ascribe to social worth. Overall, the status and respect literatures provide differing images of the dynamics of individuals' social worth at work. However, these literatures have been largely disconnected from one another, and there have been relatively few systematic efforts to analyze their differences and similarities. We address this gap by reviewing and comparing the status and respect literatures. Our analysis leads us to conclude that, although status research and respect research are highly distinct, the two research areas ultimately investigate the same phenomenon and should be integrated more extensively. Moreover, our analysis highlights several limitations and gaps in prior research on status and respect. We suggest opportunities for integrating status and respect research and for developing a more complete understanding of the dynamics of social worth at work.
- Received October 1, 2015.
- Revision received March 16, 2017.
- Accepted March 19, 2017.