Format of Original
Pittsburg State University
Journal of Managerial Issues
This article discusses the psychological influences on referent selection. The nature of contemporary work environments, ones characterized by instability and uncertainty, may create increased needs on the part of individuals for comparative information. Individuals use social comparisons for managing both uncertainty and environmental change, and for making critical decisions about one's job. Most literature on referent selection can be categorized along two basic schema: identification of the types of referents that exist and examination of the outcomes that result from referent selection. Studies have identified a multitude of potential referents, primarily drawn from the outcomes being examined, including pay referents, referents linked with one's occupation, education, age and job, and referents derived from an employee's social network.
O'Neill, Bonnie S. and Mone, Mark A., "Psychological Influences on Referent Choice*" (2005). Management Faculty Research and Publications. 13.