We examined the relationships of perceived organizational support and job satisfaction with organizational citizenship behavior and task performance in China. Employees from two large-scale state-owned enterprises (SOE) completed measures of perceived organizational support and job satisfaction and their immediate supervisors completed measures of task performance and four facets of organizational citizenship behavior. Data analyzed using zero-order correlation and hierarchical regression analysis showed positive correlations of perceived organizational support and job satisfaction with task performance, and also showed positive associations of perceived organizational support and job satisfaction with organizational citizenship behavior and each of its four dimensions.
A major concern of organizational theorists and practitioners is for achieving organizational effectiveness. The willingness of employees to go beyond the formal specifications of job roles, termed extra-role behaviors (Organ, 1990; Tepper, Lockhart, & Hoobler, 2001), is important, but among these behaviors, organizational citizenship behavior (OCB) is the most widely studied form (Dyne, Cummings, & Parks, 1995). OCB has been defined as "individual behavior that is discretionary, not directly or explicitly recognized by the formal reward system and that in aggregate promotes the effective functioning of the organization." (Organ 1988, p.4) Only a few studies have examined organizational citizenship behavior in different cultural contexts (e.g., Chen, Tsui, & Farh, 2002; Farh, Earley, & Lin, 1997; Farh, Zhong, & Organ, 2004; Hui, Law, & Chen, 1999). Nonetheless, researchers have found that the motivational basis of organizational citizenship behavior differs in the West and China (Farh et al., 1997; Hui et al., 1999). From a Chinese perspective, OCB is not simply a consequence of job satisfaction or organizational commitment (Organ & Ryan, 1995), but rather a kind of service that is typically attributed to personal loyalty and attachment to specific others rather than as an impersonal form of commitment (Chen et al., 2002). Because Hui, Lee, and Rousseau (2004) suggested that China is a relational society, in that a strong relationship may be sufficient for inducing employee reciprocity. Personal relationships, particularly between subordinates with immediate supervisors, may play a larger role in motivating organizational citizenship behavior and performance in China than they do in the West. Paine and Organ (2000) also suggest that different cultures/nations may interpret or evaluate the OCB differently. Therefore, there is a need for providing insights on some of the predictions of expatriates' work attitudes and outcomes in the Chinese context (Liu, 2009).
The purpose of this study was to verify the contentions of Chinese academics about Chinese workers, that low structural stability results from transitional societies and economic changes, especially the reform of state-owned enterprises, and to better understand the relationships between perceived organizational support, job satisfaction and job performance (task performance and OCB) in China. This replication may allow previous findings to be generalized beyond the United States. One objective is to examine the extent to which perceived organizational support is associated with OCB and task performance. Another is to investigate the relationships between job satisfaction and OCB and task performance.
Theoretical Background and Hypothesis
In a meta-analytic study (Rhoades & Eisenberger, 2002), a distinction in types of performance has been made based on the work of Organ (1988), who argues that job performance is multidimensional and is comprised of two types of behavior: in-role/task performance that is prescribed by the firm or its representatives and discretionary work behaviors that lie under the control of the employee (e.g., pro-social behaviors (Puffer, 1987), citizenship behaviors (Podsakoff, MacKenzie, Moorman, & Fetter, 1990).
Borman and Motowidlo (1993) further Organ's premise by distinguishing between task performance and citizenship behavior. Task performance is defined as work behavior that is related to "... the organization's technical core, either by executing its technical processes or by maintaining and servicing its technical requirements" (Motowidlo, Borman, & Schmit, 1997), and it is typically viewed as fundamental or in-role responsibilities that employees are hired to perform in exchange for their compensation packages (Rousseau & Parks, 1993).
Conversely, organizational citizenship behaviors are constructive behaviors not included in an employee's formal job description. That is common to many jobs. Organ's (1988) conceptualization of OCB as five distinct factors: altruism (e.g. helping behaviors directed at specific individuals), courtesy (e.g. informing others to prevent the occurrence of work-related problems), sportsmanship (e.g. tolerating the inevitable inconveniences of work without complaining), conscientiousness (e.g. going beyond minimally required levels of attendance), and civic virtue (e.g. participating in and being concerned about the life of the company). Podsakoff et al. (1990) first operationalized Organ's five-dimension model of OCB.
Contextual factors, such as organizational culture and job characteristics impact decisions to engage in OCBs (Fodchuk, 2007). It also appears that individuals in development focused organizations might react more favorably to using OCBs than individuals in results-focused organizations. Similarly, the national culture in which an organization is embedded (collectivistic versus individualistic) could impact reactions (Gelfand, Enez, & Aycan, 2007). Farh et al. (1997) developed a version of the OCB measure for the Chinese culture and translated it into the Mandarin language. The Chinese version included the dimensions of altruism, conscientiousness, and civic virtue, but replaced sportsmanship and courtesy with two dimensions of interpersonal harmony and protecting company resources.
The presence of interpersonal harmony and protecting company resources in the Chinese citizenship behavior scale can be attributed to their cultural roots. Bond & Hwang (1987) and Yang (1993) note one of the most distinctive features of Chinese societies is their family orientation. The influence of the family is so strong in Chinese society that it has an undeniable predominance over its members in almost all domains of life. The submerging of one's self or individuality into his or her family is a special type of in-group collectivism called familistic collectivism, which can be distinguished from universal collectivism (Schwartz, 1990). One of the natural consequences of familistic collectivism is in-group favoritism, which may manifest itself in organizational life in the form of using one's position to benefit oneself or one's family members (e.g., nepotism). This is especially true when an employee is working in a business that is not related to his or her family. Because such abuses by employees interfere with economic efficiency, it is a common challenge for Chinese organizations to devise strategies to guard against such behavior. The emergence of protecting company resources as a major form of citizenship behavior in Chinese societies is a manifestation of such concern. The cultural root of interpersonal harmony in the Chinese citizenship behavior scale is a cherished cultural value of interpersonal harmony found in Chinese societies (Yang, 1993). However, protecting company resources and interpersonal harmony appear to be negatively oriented OCBs.
In addition, Farh et al. (2004) suggested that the implications of the specific behaviors are different in Chinese and Western literature. For example, helping coworkers in China includes nonwork helping, which is typically not considered part of altruism in the United States. Nonwork helping can be defined as assistance given to coworkers on a purely personal level, e.g., helping coworkers with family problems or dwelling repair, or ministering to them when they are ill. In China, the coworker is not only considered a colleague, but also considered a friend, neighbor, comrade, and fellow community member.
Why do Chinese employees consider nonwork helping as OCB? With Confucian doctrines that interpersonal harmony is extremely important within the Chinese context. As mentioned above, interpersonal harmony as a form of OCB was found by Farh et al. (1997). The Chinese have long been well known for their emphasis on harmony and unity (solidarity) in social relationships and within social groups. There is a good reason for Chinese to cherish interpersonal harmony because harmonious relationships foster the solidarity and integration of individual groups or organizations which, in turn, lead to a stable social order (Yang, 1993). Helping coworkers cope with personal crises becomes an important form of OCB because it helps the firm meet employee needs and is instrumental in building a cohesive workplace. Including nonwork helping as OCB also reflects a Chinese cultural tendency to mix the private and public spheres of life. A study of Chinese leadership shows that leader consideration ("benevolence") typically includes behavior that demonstrates individualized, holistic concern for subordinates' personal and familial well-being (Farh & Cheng, 2000).
The courtesy dimension of OCB in Western literature did not emerge in Chinese sample (Farh et al., 1997). In addition, Lam, Hui, and Law (1999) found that in comparison with employees from Australia and the United States, employees from Hong Kong and Japan were more likely to consider courtesy as in-role behaviors. It is possible that Chinese employees also considered courtesy to be largely in-role behavior and thus not OCB. However, the Chinese have long been known for their concern for harmony and unity (solidarity) in social relationships (Yang, 1993), and courtesy just as one of discretionary behaviors aimed at preventing work-related problems to others (Podsakoff et al., 1990).
The present study examined an array of antecedent variables for their potential effect on OCB, comprised of the following: (a) helping, (b) civic virtue, (c) conscientiousness, and (d) courtesy.
Perceived Organizational Support
Perceived organizational support (POS) refers to "the extent to which the organization values [employees'] contributions and cares about their well-being" (Eisenberger, Huntington, Hutchison, & Sowa, 1986). A supportive organization is committed to its workers (Malatesta & Tetrick, 1996). According to organizational support theorists, high POS tends to improve work attitudes and engender effective work behavior for two reasons. First, these beneficial effects result from a process of social exchange. Research by Eisenberger, Cummings, Armeli, and Lynch (1997) suggests that workers examine the discretionary actions of discretion to have done, otherwise, and then workers infer that they are being supported. They then seek to repay this favorable treatment. Like that, employees become more committed and harder-working (Eisenberger et al., 1986). In addition, it seems that if an organization is given adequate training, resources, and support from management, it is more likely that members would both want their organization to succeed and be more capable of helping their organization succeed. Therefore, it appears likely that the extent which the organization perceives that it is supported will be positively associated with the display of OCB directed toward the organization (Eisenberger, Armeli, Rexwinkel, Lynch, & Rhoades, 2001; Wayne, Shore, Bommer, & Tetrick, 2002).
In Rhoades and Eisenberger's (2002) meta-analysis, POS was found positively related to evaluative and objective measures of performance in standard job activities (Armeli, Eisenberger, Fasolo, & Lynch, 1998; Eisenberger et al., 1986; Eisenberger, Fasolo, & Davis-LaMastro, 1990), extra-role performance such as conscientiousness in carrying out job responsibilities, help for coworkers and creative suggestions for the organization's operations (Eisenberger et al., 1990; Lynch, Eisenberger, & Armeli, 1999; Shore & Wayne, 1993; Moorman, Blakely, & Niehoff, 1998; Wayne, Shore, & Liden, 1997). In addition, a Iranian study suggested that POS induce a positive effect on OCB (Asgari, Silong, Ahmad, & Samah, 2008). Thus, we hypothesize that the extent to which an employee perceives that management provides it with support will affect the citizenship behaviors:
Hypothesis 1: Perceived organizational support will be positively associated with OCB (a) helping, (b) civic virtue, (c) conscientiousness, and (d) courtesy.
An important component of this study is to examine the source of the support associated with task performance. Research on social exchange theory has shown that employees who feel they have been well supported by their organizations tend to reciprocate by performing better than those reporting lower levels of POS (Eisenberger et al., 1990; Shore & Wayne, 1993). As mentioned above, POS was found positively related to evaluative and objective measures of performance in standard job activities (in-role performance) (Armeli et al., 1998; Eisenberger et al., 1986, 1990). And in a postal employees study, Eisenberger, Armeli, Rexwinkel, Lynch, and Rhoades (2001) found that felt obligation mediated the association of POS with in-role performance. Thus, it suggested that there was a positive relationship between POS and in-role performance.
On the other hand, Settoon, Bennett, and Liden (1996) and Wayne et al. (1997) tested the relationship between POS and work performance using structural equation modeling. In both of these studies the path coefficient from POS and task performance was not significant. And in a recent study, Stamper and Johlke (2003) suggested that POS was not related to task performance. However, in more recent studies, Byrne and Hochwarter (2008) reported a modest relationship between POS and task performance. And Riggle, Edmondson, and Hansen (2009) indicated POS has a moderate, positive effect on task performance in a meta-analysis. We reason that the existence of collectivism in Chinese context may have a significant influence on the dynamic that links support in the workplace with performance. Because Farh et al. (1997) suggested that collectivist cultures have stronger bonds within a larger in-group, where helping behavior occurs for the good of the group. Paine and Organ (2000) suggested that collectivist cultures would demonstrate more work behavior. Thus, we hypothesize POS will be related positively to performance that:
Hypothesis 2: Perceived organizational support will be positively associated with task performance.
Job satisfaction refers to an employee's overall sense of well-being at work. It is an internal state based on assessing the job and job-related experiences with some degree of favor or disfavor (Locke, 1976). Much of the research on the job satisfaction and job performance relationship has failed to take the task performance and OCB distinction into account. However, several researchers have provided a rationale for why the job satisfaction and OCB relationship should be stronger than the job satisfaction and task performance relationship (e.g., Bateman & Organ, 1983; Organ & Moorman, 1993; Organ & Ryan, 1995). Specially, social exchange theory (Adams, 1965) posits that people strive to balance what they give and receive from social exchanges. OCBs are thought to be a means by which an employee can give back to the organization, so, if an employee is satisfied with his or her job, the employee may be more likely to reciprocate by helping others through their citizenship behaviors. Employees may be less likely to perform extra duties, endorse, support, or defend the organization's objectives, or engage in other citizenship behaviors if they have low levels of satisfaction with the job. In contrast, the task facets of a job are typically prescribed. So, whether an employee is satisfied with the job or not, the memos and letters have to be typed and the classes have to be taught. Thus, job satisfaction should have a positive relationship with OCBs and task performance.
Several studies support the relationship between job satisfaction and OCB. Organ (1988) and Organ and Konovsky (1989) have argued for and provided empirical evidence supporting a relationship between satisfaction and OCB, as did Williams and Anderson (1991). Moorman (1993) found support for the relative importance of cognitive job satisfaction over affective job satisfaction in predicting OCB. Organ and Lingl (1995) found that overall job satisfaction yielded a significant increment in the altruism dimension of OCB but not in the compliance dimension of OCB. In a sample of human-service professionals, Murphy, Athanasou, and King (2002) found that job satisfaction is positively correlated with OCB to a degree that indicates a medium to strong relationship. From the prior research, we hypothesize that:
Hypothesis 3: Job satisfaction will be positively associated with OCB (a) helping, (b) civic virtue, (c) conscientiousness, and (d) courtesy.
Since the 1970s job satisfaction is often conceptualized as a determinant of general work performance. Despite the intuitive and theoretical appeal of the relationship between job satisfaction and job performance, the empirical support for this relationship has been mixed. Meta-analyses of the relationship between job satisfaction and job performance have reported a wide range of results (i.e., r =.14 to .31; Iaffaldano & Muchinsky, 1985; Judge, Thoresen, Bono, & Patton, 2001; Petty, McGee, & Cavender, 1984) with the most recent meta-analysis (i.e., Judge et al., 2001) reporting a relatively strong relationship (r =.30) between job satisfaction and job performance. The divergent results of these meta-analyses of ostensibly the content domain have been attributed to several factors such as differences in judgment calls and decision rules related to study inclusion criteria, coding of studies, inaccurate corrections for unreliability, and combining multiple, distinct facets of satisfaction to define overall satisfaction (Judge et al., 2001).
Another plausible explanation for the variability in reported relationships between job satisfaction and job performance is the effect of different conceptualizations and operationalizations of both job satisfaction and job performance. For example, it has been suggested that the relationship between job satisfaction and job performance varies depending on whether performance is defined in terms of task performance or OCB (Organ, 1988).
In addition, in a manufacturing plant study, Edwards, Bell, Jr., and Decuir (2008) found that there was a weak relationship (r =.19) between job satisfaction and task performance. Thus, the satisfaction-performance research has still failed to produce strong and unambiguous findings. This necessitates further investigation of relationship between these two variables. Based on the previous literature, we hypothesize that:
Hypothesis 4: Job satisfaction will be positively associated with task performance.
Procedures and Sample
This study used two questionnaires: Questionnaire 1 (for the subordinates) measured perceived organizational support and job satisfaction along with control variables and Questionnaire 2 (for their immediate supervisors) assessed their subordinates' task performance and organizational citizenship behavior.
Initially, participants were systematically selected from various departments of the steel corporations in Liaoning, a Northeastern province in the Peoples' Republic of China (Mainland China). As representative SOEs of northeastern old industrial base, two large-scale steel corporations are Anshan Iron & Steel Corporation and Benxi Iron & Steel Corporation respectively. Among these Chinese participants, 159 subordinates were selected. Correspondingly their respective supervisors, totaling 34, were selected, with 3-7 subordinates under each supervisor. Then Questionnaires 1 and 2 were mailed to subordinates and supervisors by company internal administrative system respectively. Among them 29 pairs contained multiple missing items and were thus excluded; only 130 matched cases of supervisor-subordinate dyads (81.8%) were obtained. The average age of the participants was 36.79 years (SD=13.08); 61.8% were male (80 males). Their average tenure in their respective departments was 9.05 years (SD=3.40).
Unless otherwise noted, all of the scales described below were responded to on a five-point Likert type scale (1=strong disagreement, 5=strong agreement).
Control Variables. Consistent with the work perceptions, attitudes and behaviors literature, gender (e.g., Hochwater et al., 2001), age (e.g., Stamper & Van Dyne, 2001), and organizational tenure (e.g., Wayne et al., 1997) were used as control variables. In addition, past research has demonstrated that gender, age, and tenure can influence Chinese work perceptions and attitudes (Hui & Tan, 1996), and so these were included as controls in this analysis: gender (1=male, 2=female), age (years), and tenure (years).
Perceived Organizational Support. Employees assessed POS using a 4-item shortened version of 36-item POS scale developed by Eisenberger et al. (1986). Examples are 'The organization does its best to take care of different needs of colleagues', and 'The organization appreciates the contribution of every colleague.' The Cronbach's alpha of this scale was .76.
Job Satisfaction. Employees assessed their job satisfaction using a 5-item scale by Mason (1995). This scale consisted of the following facets: job interest, the way the boss handles his/her subordinate, relations with co-workers, fair treatment, and the competence of supervisor. The Cronbach's alpha of this scale was .89.
Job Performance. Immediate supervisors provided a performance rating for their subordinates. Here in the present study performance was classified into two dimensions (Organ, 1988; Podsakoff et al., 2000): task performance (in-role behavior) and OCBs (extra-role behavior).
Task performance. Immediate supervisors assessed their subordinates' task performance using a 3-item scale developed by Willams and Anderson (1991). Examples are: 'Employees almost always perform better than what can be characterized as acceptable performance', and 'Employees often perform better than what can be expected.' The Cronbach's alpha of this scale was .69.
OCB. Immediate supervisors assessed OCB by Questionnaire 2 contained 12 items measuring helping behavior, civic virtue (Allen & Rush, 1998), conscientiousness, and courtesy (Organ, 1988) dimensions of OCB with three items measuring each dimension. Immediate supervisors were requested to provide an assessment of their employees' OCBs. For the present study, the cronbach's alpha for the subscales are were acceptable (for helping behaviors it was .81, for civic virtue it was .71, for conscientiousness it was .75, and for courtesy it was .73), while the overall composite score reliability is .80. Examples are: Helping behaviors 'willing gives of his/her time to help others who have work-related matters'; Civic virtue 'attend formal and informal organization meetings'; Conscientiousness 'always punctual at work'; Courtesy 'tries to avoid creating problems for me.'
The data were analyzed in several phases. First, an exploratory principal component analysis with varimax rotation was performed on all multiple scale items to determine item retention. Except for the items of "Help others who have nonwork-related matters" and "Maintains a clean workplace" from traditional culture of China (Farh et al., 2004), other of them (see Appendix) as identified in the Chinese and Western literature are culture invariant. Since most items were translated from English into Chinese, and the independent variable was developed for this study, exploratory analysis was chosen rather than confirmatory analysis. Items with loadings greater than .50 on the target construct were retained as long as the items did not produce a cross-loading of .40 or greater.
Second, the final scales were computed by averaging the remaining items. Among them, the composite score of OCB was obtained by averaging the 4 OCB dimensions.
Third, descriptive statistics were calculated to describe the set of scores generated by each of the study variables and the extent of relationships between variables.
Finally, hierarchical regression was used to test hypotheses. To test the direct effect hypotheses the dependent variables were first regressed onto the control variables. In the second step, POS and job satisfaction were entered.
The principal factor analyses were performed on the items to which the subordinates and immediate supervisors responded. Seven factors emerged with eigenvalues greater than 1.0, explaining 64.60% of the variance. Supervisors responded to a total 15-item measuring task performance and OCB (helping behaviors, civic virtue, conscientiousness, and courtesy). Subordinates responded to a total 9-item measuring POS and job satisfaction. (See the Appendix, which also includes the wording of each item).
Results of Correlation Analysis
Table 1 shows the mean, standard deviations, zero-order correlations, and reliability coefficients of the study variables. Zero-order correlations provide an initial examination of the hypotheses linking POS, job satisfaction, and OCBs, task performance (Table 1). The hypothesis stating positive relationship between POS and OCB is supported (r =.50, p<.001). POS was also correlated positively with helping behaviors (r =.39, p <.001), courtesy (r =.30, p <.001), conscientiousness (r =.23, p<.01), and civic virtue (r =.42, p<.001). Positive correlation was also obtained between job satisfaction and OCB (r =.34, p<.001), helping behavior (r =.20, p<.05), courtesy (r =.16, p>.05), conscientiousness (r =.31, p<.001), and civic virtue (r =.22, p<.05). Consistent with hypothesis 2, POS also correlated positively with task performance (r =.20, p<.05), and consistent with hypothesis 4, job satisfaction correlated positively with task performance (r =.34, p<.001). It appears that POS and job satisfaction had differential effects on OCB and task performance.
Results of Hierarchical Multiple Regression
To test the hypotheses more thoroughly, we used hierarchical multiple regression. In step 1, we entered the control variables, and in step 2, we entered perceived organizational support and job satisfaction. Results of the hierarchical regressions are shown in Table 2-1 and Table 2-2. For helping behavior, the 5% variance accounted by the control variables was not significant but the inclusion of the antecedents resulted significant 19% variance, F(6,124)=4.71, p<.001; only POS (β=.37, p<.001) and job satisfaction (β=.19, p<.05) contributed significantly. That is, POS and job satisfaction positively relate to helping behavior, respectively. Therefore, Hypothesis 1a and 3a were supported.
On courtesy, the control variables accounted for 8% variance, F(4,126)=2.77, p<.05; with only age (β=-.22, p<.05) contributing significantly. The inclusion of the antecedents yielded 15% variation (ΔR2=7%), F(6,124)=3.67, p<.01, with only POS (β=.23, p<.01) contributing significantly. That is, there is a positive relationship between POS and courtesy. However, there is no significant relationship between job satisfaction and courtesy. Thus, Hypothesis 1b was supported, and Hypothesis 3b was not supported.
For conscientiousness, the 4% variance accounted by the control variables was not significant but the inclusion of the antecedents resulted significant 15% variance, F(6,124)=3.71, p<.01; only POS (β=.18, p<.05) and job satisfaction (β=.27, p<.01) contributed significantly. That is, POS and job satisfaction positively relate to conscientiousness, respectively. Therefore, Hypothesis 1c and 3c were supported.
Finally, the inclusion of the control variables in the regression on civic virtue yielded 8% variance, F(4,126)=2.86, p<.05; with only gender (β=-.19, p<.05) and tenure (β=-.22, p<.05) contributing significantly. The inclusion of the antecedents yielded 26% variance (ΔR2=18%), F(6,124)=7.31, p<.001, with only POS (β=.36, p<.001) and job satisfaction (β=.21, p<.05) contributing significantly. That is, POS and job satisfaction positively relate to civic virtue, respectively. Therefore, Hypothesis 1d and 3d were supported.
So for OCB, The control variables jointly accounted for 9% of the variance, F(4,126)=3.13, p<.05, with only gender (β=-.18, p<.05) and age (β=-.23, p<.01) contributing significantly. But the inclusion of the antecedents (POS and job satisfaction) resulted in 35% variation in OCB, F(6,124)=11.09, p<.001, with only POS (β=.42, p<.001) and job satisfaction (β=.27, p<.01) contributing significantly. The inclusion of the antecedents resulted in 26% change (ΔR2) in variance in OCB. The results show that there are positive relationships between POS and OCB, job satisfaction and OCB. Thus, Hypothesis 1 and 3 were supported
In addition, the control variables accounted for 8% of the variance in task performance, F(4,126)=2.83, p<.05, with only gender (β=-.23, p<.01) and age (β=-.19, p<.05) contributing significantly. But the inclusion of the antecedents (POS and job satisfaction) resulted in 19% variation in task performance, F(6,124)=4.70, p<.01, with only POS (β=.18, p<.05), job satisfaction (β=.31, p<.001) and gender (β=-.19, p<.05) contributing significantly. The inclusion of the antecedents resulted in 11% change (ΔR2) in variance in task performance. That is, there are positive relationships between POS and task performance, job satisfaction and task performance. Thus, Hypothesis 2 and 4 were supported.
Most of the previous studies on POS, job satisfaction, and job performance were conducted in Western countries. The generalizability of these findings to other parts of the world is in question. More cross-cultural studies in this area of research are called for. In view of its unique cultural traditions (Earley, 1989; Warner, 1993) and sweeping economic reform during the past three decades, the Mainland China provides a good research setting for studying workers' attitudes and behaviors.
Related to this, the main purpose of this study was to explore the relationships of POS and job satisfaction with OCB and task performance among Chinese steel employees working in large-scale SOEs. Factor analysis supported the existence of four separate factors representing the POS, job satisfaction, OCB (obtained by averaging the 4 OCB dimensions), and task performance. According to the principle of compatibility, we expect that, for Chinese workers, POS will be related to OCB and task performance (Hypothesis 1, 2). Furthermore, job satisfaction also will be related to OCB and task performance (Hypothesis 3, 4).
Interestingly, this principle generalizes to the effects of both POS and job satisfaction. Our findings support existing findings in the Western literature that OCBs and task performance increase with more favorable perception of organizational support and job satisfaction. In support of Hypotheses 3 and 4, there were significant, positive relationships between job satisfaction and OCB and task performance. The Chinese respond to job satisfaction in a manner similar to Westerners. That is to say, they become more committed to the organization when they are satisfied with their conditions more and more. However, an interesting finding is that job satisfaction is more strongly related to task performance (r =.31) than OCB (r =.27). It is different from prior studies (e.g., Bateman & Organ, 1983; Organ & Moorman, 1993; Organ & Ryan, 1995) in that job satisfaction and OCB relationship should be stronger than the job satisfaction and task performance relationship. The focus of both job satisfaction and task performance is on job-related tasks. Indeed, the constructs of satisfaction with work and task performance overlap both conceptually and in terms of measurement (i.e., they can be measured using the same behaviors). That is, employees who enjoy their work should increase their effort and have improved task performance (Hackman & Oldham, 1980). In contrast, elements of OCB are not task-based, so the conceptual link between job satisfaction and OCB is weaker than the link job satisfaction with task performance.
Consistent with the Hypotheses 1 and 2, there were significant, positive relationships between POS and OCB and task performance. However, the Chinese respond to organizational support more strongly than do some Westerners, with greater task performance. It is different from prior western studies (e.g., Settoon et al., 1996; Wayne et al., 1997; Byrne & Hochwarter, 2008; Armeli et al., 1998; Eisenberger et al., 1986, 1990) report mixed findings with regards to the relationship between POS and task performance. For example, Settoon et al. (1996) and Wayne et al. (1997) found there was no significant relationship of two variables. Byrne and Hochwarter (2008) reported a modest relationship of two variables. Armeli et al. (1998) and Eisenberger et al. (1986, 1990) suggested POS was positively related to task performance. This study offers additional insight into the support-performance relationship.
Both organizational citizenship behavior and task performance can be construed as a form of reciprocity to a specific person. According to the empathy concern behavior hypothesis (Fultz, Batson, Fartenbach, McCarthy, & Varney, 1986) an employee who perceives favorable organizational support and job satisfaction at workplace, shows empathic concern for the organization by engaging in citizenship behaviors. The norm of reciprocity (Schopler, 1979) also posits that people who give should be paid back. Employees evaluate their work situations by cognitively in return (Adams, 1965). Thus, employees empathize and reciprocate organizational support and job satisfaction with work behaviors (extra-role behaviors and in-role behaviors). This is because the study (Haworth & Levy, 2001) suggested that people are most satisfied with a relationship when the ratio between benefits and contributions is similar for both partners; and also studies (e.g., Koys, 2001; Walz & Niehoff, 2000; Yen & Niehoff, 2002) showed that OCB is positively related to work performance. Especially, in the current Chinese study, the importance of personal relationship (called guanxi) in business dealings has been well documented (Farh, Tsui, Xin, & Cheng, 1998; Tsui & Farh, 1997; Xin & Pearce, 1996). So the worker's relationship with a supervisor takes on paramount importance to Chinese employees and is an essential component of Chinese social structure. The relationship with one's supervisor, therefore, may anchor the relationship with the organization and one's willingness to contribute to it.
Therefore for the Chinese workforce to drive towards employee performance, management of organizations need to enhance organizational support by implementing organization policies, attitudes, procedures, and decisions that support and value employees' contributions, and cares about their well-being. And aiming to improve employees' job satisfaction, organizations need to simultaneously address as many of diverse variables (e.g., providing employee well-deserved gains, resolving their concerns, increasing job enrichment and reduction in workplace discrimination) as possible.
Limitations to this study include it cross-sectional design that precludes us from drawing conclusions concerning the causal relationships among the study variables. In addition, the sample was small, compared to other studies on citizenship behavior; thus our power for detecting between several relationships effects was relatively low. Finally, our sample was limited to the heavy industry of two large-scale state-owned enterprises which may limit the generalizability of the results. Under circumstances of China's transformation, Chinese workers appear to be increasingly attracted to joining foreign rather than SOE (Turban, Lau, Ngo, & Chow, 2001). Therefore, we must raise the question of how workers in SOE conglomerates compare with workers in foreign firms. Future research should examine the foreign-invested enterprises and Sino-foreign joint ventures with the reform and modernization. On the other hand, it would be of value to examine further variables (e.g., organizational justice, commitment, interpersonal trust, and psychological contract) of antecedents, broaden the domain of outcomes to include more objective data. The last should pay more attention on the "Big Five" measure of conscientiousness in different organizational form of Chinese context.
The present study provided a review and reexamination of the relationship between POS and job satisfaction and job performance. Essentially, this study tested the POS-performance relationship and satisfaction-performance relationship at the dimension level of performance. This approach was taken because a more precise understanding of the POS-performance relationship and the satisfaction-performance relationship can be gained by considering the task performance and OCB distinction. The results indicated that POS and job satisfaction were positively related to OCB and task performance, the relationship did not much differ by performance dimension, and partially to help explain confusion in past research regarding the relationship between POS and performance. This highlights the importance of matching predictors and criteria in terms of compatibility, both conceptually and empirically.
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University of Science and Technology Liaoning
(ProQuest: Appendix omitted.)…