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SAGE Publishing

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Journal of Management

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Research suggests that organizational members highly prize respect but rarely report adequately receiving it. However, there is a lack of theory in organizational behavior regarding what respect actually is and why members prize it. We argue that there are two distinct types of respect: generalized respect is the sense that “we” are all valued in this organization, and particularized respect is the sense that the organization values “me” for particular attributes, behaviors, and achievements. We build a theoretical model of respect, positing antecedents of generalized respect from the sender’s perspective (prestige of social category, climate for generalized respect) and proposed criteria for the evaluation of particularized respect (role, organizational member, and character prototypicality), which is then enacted by the sender and perceived by the receiver. We also articulate how these two types of respect fulfill the receiver’s needs for belonging and status, which facilitates the self-related outcomes of organization-based self-esteem, organizational and role identification, and psychological safety. Finally, we consider generalized and personalized respect jointly and present four combinations of the two types of respect. We argue that the discrepancy between organizational members’ desired and received respect is partially attributable to the challenge of simultaneously enacting or receiving respect for both the “we” and the “me.”


Accepted version. Journal of Management, Vol. 43, No. 5 (May 1, 2017): 1578-1608. DOI. © 2017 SAGE Publications. Used with permission.

Kristie M. Rogers was affiliated with the University of Kansas at the time of publication.

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