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J Appl Psychol. 2009 Mar;94(2):547-56. doi: 10.1037/a0013506.

Idiosyncratic deals: coworkers as interested third parties.

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A. B. Freeman School of Business, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118, USA.


Idiosyncratic deals (i-deals for short) are personalized employment arrangements negotiated between individual workers and employers and intended to benefit them both (D. M. Rousseau, 2005). Coworkers' acceptance of another's i-deal can ultimately impact its overall effectiveness for the organization. By using a network approach to the study of work group dynamics, this research addresses the contributions coworker relationships with both the i-dealer and their employer make to coworker's willingness to accept a peer's i-deal. In a study of 65 employees in 20 research and development groups, coworker acceptance of i-deals is greater for group members who are their close personal friends than for members who are not. The coworkers' social exchange relationship with their employers is positively related to acceptance, while economic exchange is negatively related. Coworkers' belief in the likelihood of obtaining comparable future opportunity is positively related to their acceptance of another's i-deal. Results suggest that the relationship of both economic and social exchange with acceptance is likely to be mediated by beliefs regarding comparable future opportunity. Implications for both research and practice are discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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