We introduce a biopsychosocial model to explain how men's and women's testosterone fluctuations ensuing from winning and losing status in intrasexual competitions affect their proactive and reactive aggression, as well as their accuracy at assessing others’ emotions (empathic accuracy) and anxiety at witnessing others’ pain (personal distress). We also propose that their empathic responses depend on the extent to which they are driven by a need to influence other people (implicit power motivation). To our knowledge, this is among the first articles to offer a comprehensive investigation of the physiological and psychological effects that competitive outcomes have on individuals' empathic responses. Given that competition is ubiquitous in organisational life, we sensitise practitioners to its effect on empathy in the workplace and give recommendations on how they could foster a healthy work environment. Finally, to encourage scholars along this research avenue, we provide concrete suggestions for empirically testing our model and advise them to probe other hormones, as well as other empathic responses and non-hormonal mechanisms that may assist in further explaining the competition–empathy link.