Perceived Organizational Support, Job Satisfaction, Task Performance and Organizational Citizenship Behavior in China

Article excerpt


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

Job Performance

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. …